The Sun Is Always Brighter
Label: MTN Recordings
James navigates a breed of graveled soul pop way more convincingly than any of his ascendant blue-eyed counterparts (lookin' at you, James Blunt), swinging through tunes that can be rollicking or meditative, and tend to obsess about matters of the heart. The graceful ballad "FM Radio" -- which comes complete with the sound of a needle dropping on vinyl -- is a centerpiece. For straight-shooting pop, nothing can match the opener, "The New Love Song."