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Single Review: James Arthur – ‘You’re Nobody Until Somebody Loves You’

3 min read

James Arthur has caused a bit of a stir in the last two years, to say the least.  Auditioning for the X- Factor, accused of plagiarism while on the show, being nearly voted out only to come back and win the show, and having his single Impossible sell over 1.2 million copies worldwide within 6 months.

JamesArthurYourNobodyNow comes his next single, You’re Nobody Until Somebody Loves You which he announced on Twitter in August together with the release of an accompanying video clip. You’re Nobody is set to go worldwide on October 20 right before the release of Arthur’s self titled album – a good marketing technique used to create hype and boost sales. But can this song do that? Will it be as big as Impossible? And can it make you so interested in James Arthur that you want to hear more? Well in this reviewer’s mind it’s a yes/no paradox.

You’re Nobody Until Somebody Loves You is a pop-rock inspired single set to light a fire in the mainstream music world. Similar to Santana’s feature song Smooth with Rob Thomas, this single has a southern gospel rock feel which features heavenly backing vocals, blues-rock tone from the lead guitar and a brass accomplice which has become popular in recent years (listen to this in A Little Party Never Killed Nobody by Fergie, and Same Love by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis). The stand out moment in my opinion is at 2.53 seconds when Arthur shows just how high he can go.

Yes Arthur’s vocals are on key, his tone fits the songs and the lyrics are good BUT there are some missed opportunities which could have made this song amazing. There could have been more stand outs such as solos, hooks, or something that makes me want to hit repeat. And I found more emotion, better range and a more interesting song structure when comparing this to his first single Impossible.  The boring chorus is my biggest beef – there’s only a small fill on the drums and a lot more could have been done with that.

Arthur will certainly appeal to those people wanting to hear a catchy tune on the radio – he’s hyped up as the next big thing.  But if you’ve listened to a lot of music (new and old), to my mind you won’t be impressed or wowed by this song. It’s like a no scoring game of football – everyone enjoys a good game but no one is an outright winner.