While You Were Sleeping (LP)


Jose James

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Amoeba Review

06/09/2014

Last year, James's No Beginning No End was a quiet masterpiece of quiet jazz-funk neo-soul, making best-of-2013 lists across the board. The record's subtle D'Angelo-isms and live-band takes on skittering post-Dilla rhythmic tactics were a refreshingly straightforward take on how to get legitimately greasy in a field increasingly full of all-surface neo-soul art'n'b aspirations. On his new record, James has done nearly a full 180, replacing his previous record's sparse, occasionally dubby atmosphere with a density befitting of acts like Radiohead, taking his sensual, spiritual jazz croon as the central pillar around which elaborate sonic palaces might be built. Strings, guitars, giant bass sounds, and skittering bleeping electronica draw James into grander territory and the intimacy of his previous record has been replaced, for the most part, by a silver-screen soul-psychedelia, developing a sound ready for larger venues and ecstatic experiences. It's impossible to write about the two records separately, the former being inarguably the artist's major breakthrough and the latter being a conscious decision to move beyond that. This is an incredibly bold choice, both artistically and commercially, and, once again, James makes it work, based the sheer talent latent in his artistry. An incredibly ambitious and enjoyable record.



Track Listing



Side A Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Angel
Jose James 04:11
2.
U R The 1
Jose James 04:12
3.
While You Were Sleeping
Jose James 06:17


Side B Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Anywhere U Go
Jose James 05:50
2.
Bodhisattva
Jose James 04:01
3.
4 Noble Truths
Jose James 05:12


Side C Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Dragon
Jose James , Becca Stevens 04:21
2.
Salaam
Jose James 00:56
3.
Without U
Jose James 03:13


Side D Titles
Artist
Length
1.
EveryLittleThing
Jose James 03:29
2.
xx
Jose James 04:01
3.
Simply Beautiful
Jose James , Takuya Kuroda 04:53

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