Review: Jack Foley
I CANNOT have been alone in shedding a tear when James broke
up, fearful of a future without Tim Booth's unmistakeable voice,
and the quality of the songwriting.
So, news of a solo album from Booth came as something of a relief,
especially since the long-player which resulted is such a strong
In truth, it's not that much of a departure from James, prompting
the inevitable question - why the split?
But it's undeniably good to have the singer back, even if the
mainstream immediacy of James is missing.
There's nothing here that jumps out in the way that Laid or Sound
did, but that's missing the point.
Bone is a much more subtle affair, which wouldn't appear bothered
with chart positions.
Give it a few listens and you'll find that there is much to admire,
from the intellectual lyrics (some of which seem designed to provoke
controversy), through to the touching ballads, which recall some
of James' better album tracks.
And throughout, there is Booth's exceptional voice, which helped
him to stand out as one of the great frontmen of all-time.
Highlights include the funky guitar strains of In The Darkness,
which possess a sort of David Holmes 'cool' about them; or the
album opener, Wave Hello, which contains yet another
great guitar riff.
Emotive lyrics come in the form of 'life's a bitch and I'm her
whore', in the lively title track, Bone, which contains
a terrific beat; or 'so I've been abuser and I've been abused,
I've been the Nazi and I've been the Jew', on the soul-searching
Eh Mamma, with its bouncy, Sixties-styled guitar riffs,
finds the album at its catchiest, while former single, Down
To The Sea, should have been a bigger hit.
And then there are the ballads, which contain a beauty that was
previously contained within James tracks such as Just Like
Fall In Love is a prime example of Booth's vocals and
songwriting at their most tender and heartbreaking, while Falling
Down follows along in similar fashion - both pensive and
poignant, and quite capable of moving you to tears on their day.
Bone may not be the long-awaited reunion for James,
that fans may still be holding out for, but it does mark a very
welcome return for its lead singer, and capably fills the void
left by that band's departure.
It deserves to find a big fanbase, for it is an excellent solo