Overall: Great voice, decent lyrics, but musically sleepy
Over the last 3 years, there’s been a lot rumbling about soul/R&B singer-songwriter Luke James, who’s known for his visceral, yet sweet vocal delivery. This was the lone star of his long-awaited self-titled launch, however, that travels through a tumultuous relationship that started out of lust. James didn’t slouch on the lyrics and a few of the songs are written with evident heart and honesty, but musically, the record kind of sleeps. I listened to this album several times and lasting interest never arose. I wasn’t compelled to hit ‘repeat.’ On tracks like “The Run” and “Glass House,” brewing drama never boiled into near-histrionics because of missing musical flair. “Make Love to Me” is saucier, but of course, the lyrics were paper thin. James’ stripped cover of the Sam Smith hit “Stay with Me” is a gleaming stand-out. His delineation of bitterness and vulnerability through voice and word is remarkable, but this album proves that peanut butter and jelly are excellent together, but there’s no enjoying it if you don’t have bread.