Emerging singer songwriter James Robinson has released his second EP titled Start a Fire on December 3. The prior frontman for the Alternative pop band Two Spot Gobi, is bringing his assured and enticing vocals to his own solo release. The beautifully crafted songs are challenging yet have an addictive quality.Robinson is from Brighton, UK and gained notice with his first solo release in 2012, Ropes. Start a Fire has four engaging tracks that reflect the influences of Jeff Buckley, James Blake, Adele and Ryan Adams. The sound is reminiscent of singer songwriters such as City and Colour and Neil Finn. The songs go down smooth and are filled with lyrical beauty.
The title song, Start a Fire showcases a great singer and a bouncy acoustic guitar accompanies Robinson. Simplicity and heartfelt lyrics are paired with a beautiful voice. Trumping Mumford and Sons who wish they could pull off the stirring, textured passion of this song. The great production in every note of the song leads to a stellar tune.
Demons is a slower ballad. It is a gentle Sunday morning song, plaintive and evocative. Demons is the highlight of the EP, and punches above its weight with it’s intricate arrangement. The song encourages you through hardship. “When the blocks are falling, what flag will you display?” Hole In the Sky has these poetically introspective lyrics. It is so effective again because of Robinson’s sensitive vocal treatment. This is music that does not jar to get its point across.
The final song on the too short EP is Smoke and Ashes, another song that offers encouragement. Imploring you to pick yourself up after your inevitable fall, and not to sweat the small stuff, but look at the bigger picture. A mellow gentle song, like a lullaby, other performers could have been too heavy handed in getting their point across; instead Robinson is quite deft in his interpretation.
All too soon the disc is over. Mr. Robinson’s genius with this EP is to leave you wanting more. Listeners are left looking forward to a long play release from Mr. Robinson. Start a Fire mixes engaging songwriting with a great voice and stirring guitar arrangements making for a noteworthy effort. The release earns a very solid 8/10, one of the few negatives being that it is not a longer recording.
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