James Pants – Welcome (2008): Review

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Label – Stones Throw

Pants isn’t the type of artist you’d consider strategic. His Stones Throw debut, “Welcome”, is the audio equivalent of carpet bombing. A scattergun approach, 16 tracks covering all the influences and traditions of dance music of the last 30 years, all described by his record label as ‘fresh beats’. This uncoordinated diversity incorporates elements of funk, disco, electro, synth pop, and post punk, and the drastic shifts in rhythm and tempo makes for an album that is surely intended for personal listening use only. Mostly, the results are clunky, rehashed instrumental snores; the clumsy whims of a musician who seems desperate to prove that he knows all aspects of the groove and yet doesn’t really know how to pursue his sonic aspirations into a well focused collection of tunes. Lack of vocal input, a relentless reliance on well worn synth stabs and plodding rhythms also hint at a man whose musical ambitions aren’t matched by his attention to detail. Undoubtedly, a few more lines, the odd guitar break, dispense with the drum machine and we might have had a more tempting proposition. Pants doesn’t take himself too seriously, and maybe this will bring him greater critical favour, but if this album were the equivalent of a joke, then the punch line is ancient, the delivery tired and flat.

“Welcome” is a bizarre rag bag of semi ideas, flimsy dance vagueness which only hosts the question; why would anyone bother?

4/10

Track Listing
1 Theme From Paris
2 Dragonslayer
3 Crystal Lite (feat. Deon Davis)
4 Cosmic Rapp
5 We’re Through
6 My Tree
7 My Girl
8 Prayers Of the People
9 Good Things
10 I Choose You
11 Green Rivers
12 Finger On the Knife
13 Voodoo Caves
14 Ka$H (feat. Deon Davis)
15 You’re the One (feat. Gary Davis)
16 Shower Party

Ka$h

Crystal Lite

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