Tuesday 7 May 2013

Luke James - I.O.U

It’s easy to see why Luke James was chosen as the support act for Beyoncé on the UK leg of her current world tour.  Audience full of screaming girls?  Give them a singing torso.

But is there more to James than this shallow attempt at winning over a female audience?  As well as his six-pack, James showcased his impressive vocal abilities – ranging from a smooth tenor to a piercing, bright falsetto.  And strutting around the stage, he performed with a confidence far beyond his ‘support act’ status.

Yet his voice doesn’t impress half as much on the record of I.O.U, his latest single.  Largely, this is due to the quality of the music.  I.O.U quickly settles into a mid-tempo R&B groove that fails to excite, with a limited melody and soppy, clichéd lyrics (“just like my favourite wine it gets better every time”, “Baby ain’t nobody else in my vision, only loving you is my mission”).  It might have a sexy feel and funky, syncopated bassline, but it lacks the invention of his contemporaries.

A voice like this deserves better.  Instead, James comes across as a poor man’s Miguel.


Listen: I.O.U is available now.