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Nemo James - The Minstrel

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Nemo James calls his album The Minstrel, and there could hardly be a more appropriate title for this work. He has one of those voices that would have made him just as effective a minstrel back in the day when minstrels entertained kings, as he is today.

The Minstrel is an album of 17 songs. Many of these are gentle ones, such as "In the Garden," which make James Taylor - an obvious artistic comparison - come off downright lively at times. James sings with a fairly formal vocal tone, while he accompanies himself with equally gentle acoustic guitar. The better songs on this full-length work are the ones that find James breaking away from his self-imposed folk music sonic restrictions. For instance, one titled "Pride" has a slightly jazzy groove and a female duet partner. Similarly, "I Wonder" has a sort of bluesy groove driving it.

Songs where James steps away from aural expectations are welcome for the listener because the performer's usual approach can sometimes lull hearers into disinterest. He writes well and sings well, but like Taylor (again), he can be calming -- to a fault.

With that said, though, James nevertheless pleaseth the king well.

Nemo James - The Minstrel
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