Gavin James – Bitter Pill
Pop | Folk
This Irish singer/songwriter has been floating at the edges of my radar for a fair while. I have heard plenty of good things about him but didn’t give him a listen till the release of his debut album. The hype that has been attached to his name is what has tainted this album for me. To be a heartfelt artist in this genre you need an air of vulnerability. It’s things like low quality production, tiny little mistakes, a sense of spontaneity, little nuances that make the songs seem unique and personal and really give the listener something to connect with. Bitter Pill is overproduced and feels like it’s being directed by someone else to try and be a hit. It feels forced and insincere.
The pill may be a bit hard to swallow at times but it’s not without it’s charms. Gavin has a likeable voice and the more stripped back tracks such as ‘Remember Me’ and ’22’ avoid a lot of the pitfalls that effect the rest of the album. In fact there are plenty of good songs here, but they would be better listened to each in their own time rather than listening to the whole album as it starts to drag after a while. If you were to crack the shell and delve deep into the man that is Gavin James I’m sure you’d find a captivating artist in there somewhere, but this album portrays him as far too refined and reserved.