Review Round Up: Electric Light by James Bay

The singer is back with his second album – but what have critics been making of it? Here Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews…

The Guardian: ** “Chaos and the Calm was criticised for lacking character: it was all polite good taste. Electric Light is clearly meant to counter that charge, but amid its endless trying-on of different pop styles and production trickery, Bay himself seems as elusive as ever.”

The Independent: *** “fair play to James Bay, an artist whose mere name could prompt the curl of a music critic’s lip, for coming back with his second album Electric Light clearly determined to reinvent himself from a Brits troubadour darling – also nominated for three Grammys – to something a little more credible. ”

The Telegraph: ** “Somehow, it only serves to emphasise a quality of insincerity at the heart of his art, an obsession with style over substance. If the hat fits, why toss it away with such cavalier disregard?”

Irish Times: *** “Bay still falls back on the irritating “build to monstrous climax” formula a little too often, but this is an undeniably solid progression.”

NME: *** “Bay is to be commended for taking the path of most resistance, and for wowing us with something unexpected, but it’s often hard to shake the feeling that he’s simply sanitised the sound of various more interesting artists.”

Variety: “For all the gloss and floss that accompanies the release of “Electric Light,” Bay is still very much at home in the earnest ruminations and folk-rocky tones of his debut, only now with higher production values and more bounce to the ounce.”

The Times: ** “Returning without his trademark hat, Bay has gone for a new approach on his second album, veering between the slinky, silk pyjamas-friendly R&B of Wild Love to the Stones-like dirty blues of Wasted on Each Other, with a quick detour into heartland rock for Just for Tonight.”

Gig Wise: “It’s all brilliantly sung, exquisitely produced, well-paced and shiny.”

News Day: “With “Electric Light,” Bay reintroduces himself as a forward-thinking artist with plenty to say. It’s a makeover that goes well beyond his shorter hair and flashier shirts.”

MusicOMH: **** “Electric Light is a thoroughly immersive ride that shows James Bay has plenty of ideas brimming in that now hatless head.”




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