Brisbane born singer/songwriter Jarryd James has been tearing up the single charts with his brand of smooth pop and has finally released his debut album Thirty One. His new record is all about minimalism; you won’t find exaggerated or elaborate structures. Rather, it’s all about simple rhythms centered around a message.
There’s a nice mixture of sound: some tracks like the haunting lead single Do You Remember or Give Me Something have a pumping beat, emphasizing the charming vocals and the meaning behind each of them. While Undone and opener Sell It To Me are more focused more on a smooth melody and a considerably lower tempo to draw out the emotion. The absolute standout of Thirty One is definitely the stunning duet between James and Julia Stone. The balance and chemistry between both of their voices is show stopping: there’s so much emotion portrayed through their vocals paired with a striking R&B inspired beat that leaves you speechless.
The only inconsistency within this release is the sometimes-disjointed nature of each song, switching from one to the next isn’t always as seamless as you’d hope. One major culprit of this is Interlude; the sound just contrasts too much with the previous and upcoming track. Discarding this one and leaving Regardless and This Time (Serious Symptoms, Simple Solutions) to stand-alone and flow together would have been just fine.
Ultimately James has delivered a beautiful blend of soulful pop and subtle EDM that makes Thirty One a refined, fresh collection of inspired tracks. These are songs that are more than just smooth, humble song they’re intricately produced with elusive layers of not only instrumentals but also sounds that invoke a sense of nostalgia giving each one on his debut a distinct edge. Listening to Jarryd James on Thirty One will remind you why you fell in love with music, with his crooning tales of personal perseverance with snappy hooks.