More relentlessly upbeat and sunny stuff from the huge-selling English singer
George Ezra’s debut album, Wanted on Voyage, was the third biggest seller of 2014 in his native UK behind Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran. It’s easy to see the mass appeal. With a voice well beyond his years, the 24-year-old singer from Hertfordshire may be rooted in folk rock, blues and Americana but he zests up his tunes with singalong choruses, jolly brass, and loose, ramshackle arrangements.
This second album sticks to the winning formula with a set of songs inspired by his troubadour travels to the Isle of Skye; a pig farm in Norfolk; in a former cornflour shed in Kent; and in an Airbnb in Barcelona owned by the Tamara of the album’s title.
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It is relentlessly upbeat and sunny stuff with opener, Pretty Shining People, a formulaic Lumineers/Mumford stomper which pivots on the line "what a terrible time to be alive, if you’re prone to over thinking". The woozy Don't Matter Now is a brass-drenched call for comfort that has all the feel of daytime drinking, Paradise is another slightly infuriating foot-tapper, and Hold My Girl might have been rejected by Ed Sheeran on the grounds that it’s just too edgy.
It bursts with life musically and perfect for the upcoming BBQ season. Whether you think Ezra is ersatz or not, his boyish buoyancy is infectious and joyful.
Alan Corr @corralan