Albums of note… In 2013, the apparent year of the comeback, Depeche Mode made a mini-one of their own, with their first album in four years Delta Machine. Dave Gahan’s still at the vocal helm and the group still enjoy looking at the darker side of pop. Something they’re still doing with great success according to our writer Dom Gourlay, who surmised “'Delta Machine' is a worthy comeback that while not quite hitting the peaks conquered so magnificently by 'Black Celebration', 'Violator' and 'Songs Of Faith And Devotion' back in the day, still sits comfortably in the upper quartile of Depeche Mode's finest releases to date.”
Another gaining the love of Contactmusic this week is Josh Kumra who released his debut LP Good Things Come To Those Don’t Wait. Give he’s only about 20/21 himself, it seems like he’s taken the title of his album to heart, and this Sony release looks set to make him a star early on in his career. Our man Jim Pusey reckoned “At its heart, Good Things Come To Those Who Don't Wait is a solid singer songwriter effort. It elevates itself beyond that by successfully dabbling in a number of musical styles along the way, while ensuring that Josh doesn't ever sound out of his depth. Certainly one of his strengths is his voice, and he gives himself ample opportunity to showcase that here too.”
Josh Kumra has come a long way in the last 6 years. A product of the fertile Swindon music scene, as a teenager he used to record acoustic session tracks for a live music show I used to co-host at a local radio station. By 2011, he'd relocated to London, a move that paid off with a co-writing and vocal credit on Wretch 32's number one single 'Don't Go'. Now in 2013, Josh has the opportunity to take to the spotlight himself with the release of debut album Good Things Come To Those Who Don't Wait. It's a confident and polished introduction to an artist who has a great Pop sensibility in his song writing.
What's immediately obvious is that, despite his age, Josh has been perfecting a very mature outlook on the world. He seamlessly slips into world-weary Blues and Gospel numbers without missing a beat. Yet when he needs to shift gears into being a fully-fledged Pop performer he pulls that off too. While it's pretty obvious that he's been taking notes while listening to the likes of Ray LaMontagne, to have found a voice beyond his years so early in his career can only be a good sign.
While Josh isn't an entirely new artist to me, the eclectic nature of the album was a very pleasant surprise. New single 'The Answer' opens the record with its laid back Pop vibe and string-backed choruses. The first four tracks predominantly follow the same formula with a flourish of R&B thrown in for his solo reworking of the aforementioned 'Don't Go'. But the standout track on the record 'Find My Way Home' then reveals an entirely new side of Josh as the album starts to find its feet. The song is all handclaps and Gospel choirs with a soulful lead vocal that makes you sit up and take notice. The contemplative and soothing 'Brave Face' follows it with mournful lyrics ("I see the hurt in your eyes again, your brave face can't hide the pain".) and Blues guitars. By this point it's clear that the album isn't trying to capitalise on the success that Josh has already enjoyed by playing it safe, instead it's willing to play to his strengths including his distinctive voice.
Continue reading: Josh Kumra - Good Things Come To Those Who Don't Wait Album Review