Album Review

Charley James shows bags of promise on debut EP Baby We’re Optimists Remember?

Charley James is eighteen but you wouldn’t think it. Listening to Baby We’re Optimists Remember? it’s hard to think of him as anything younger than twenty with such a wise yet rose tinted vision of youth and love in young adulthood.

Opening, eponymous track ‘Baby We’re Optimists Remember?’ is a good representation of the EP as a whole. It encompasses the majority of the themes tackled throughout the collection of songs and illustrates the minimalism Charley James uses to great effect. ‘Because She Loves You’ is sweet but jarring. The quieter, cautious vocals play off the effects that call up a Stranger Things/sci-fi vibe for sure.

My favourite from Baby We’re Optimists Remember? is without doubt ‘Dreams in Greyscale’. It’s a mental overflow of worry about the future and existential dread of what the famous get up in the afterlife. The song addresses the fears of being over being young and do so in a way that’s just right, not taking itself too seriously but understanding the complexity of the matter.

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So if ‘Unfinished Song #34 is actually the 34th unfinished song I’d be interested to see what happened to the others. New Soundcloud playlist anyone? The song is sweet, almost tender until the sweeping rap verse that comes in in the second half the song. Closer ‘Jungian Proteges’ is a different kind of song, it’s popier and more brash than anything else here. The vocal melodies over the chorus are ambitious. There’s a lot of ways Charley James could take his next release with the path he’s paved with Baby We’re Optimists Remember? I for one will be excited to see what comes next.

Listen to Charley James’ Baby We’re Optimists Remember? here and be sure to show him some love on his socials.

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