James Walsh has always given sincerity and emotion in spades when it comes to both songwriting and performance and this is especially evident on his latest album.
‘Coming Good’, his seventh solo (full-length) album is a poised follow up to 2021’s ‘Small Illusions’ and features 11 tracks all written by James himself.
Intimate and raw, ‘Coming Good’ effortlessly demonstrates why James is one of the UK’s most talented songwriters. With tender vocals, stunning fluid acoustic guitars and a pared back and minimalist production, ‘Coming Good’ showcases James Walsh’s voice perfectly which is elevated even further when he’s completely stripped-back.
Each of the tracks have been gorgeously crafted and spirits you away on a melodic journey. There’s a real humility and honesty to his lyrics which are deeply layered and heartfelt making his songs deeply personal, yet connecting and relatable to all.
‘Overdue’ tells a story of standing up for someone through ‘hell or highwater’ and ‘Stray Cats’ (with its appealing animation video) talks of ‘layers of love’ that ‘cut to the soul’. ‘Together Again’ is all about the feeling of emotional numbness and the liberating feeling of speaking your truth.
Whilst the theme of depression in ‘Don’t You Get Lost On Me’ with lines like “Don’t let the black dog growl, don’t get lost on me…” is tinged with sadness, it also evokes the feeling of hope.
‘The Way Ahead’, the opening track on the album is a touching song about recovery and second chances with lines like ‘I can almost see the way ahead’ feels like it could have been a release by Starsailor back in the day.
One particular standout is ‘A Perfect Storm’ which feels like the beating heart of this album. It’s sumptuously rich and whilst at the same time filled with raw emotion. It’s entirely relatable with lyrics like ‘We are clinging to the edge of it all, fighting every instinct to go, trying to make it shine with the rain’. It feels like an anthem of our times and how having the right people in your life can make all the difference in times of adversity and turmoil.
‘Coming Good’ is life-affirming, endearing and thoughtful and despite the stripped-back nature of the record, James’ captivating and poignant lyrics paint a vivid picture that make for a well-rounded body of work which is bountiful in candid and perceptive storytelling.
Words: Emma Harrison