Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Album Review: Staying at Tamara's by George Ezra

Because of his voice George Ezra makes me think of Gary Christian (The Christians) and Gary Newby (Railway Children). I liked both of those bands OK but like this George Ezra album their music could be a bit bland. In some ways I think they rely so much on the vocal talents of their front men, that the songs just aren't that strong. That is what I see happening here with George Ezra as well. There is something so generic about this album that it just doesn't work. To me the strongest song on the album is "Saviour." It has a haunting melody and solid music in which Ezra's voice is another component, not just sitting out there all alone on an island.

Don't get me wrong Ezra has a very good voice, but there just aren't that many singers who can carry something with just their vocal performance.  In my life when I think of such artists they are far and few between and doing it consistently across multiple albums is almost impossible.

Take for instance the first Lone Justice album.  Marie McKee just kills it on that album.  She takes a bunch of generic rock songs and delivers them with so much vocal skill you can't turn away from it.  Lone Justice could never do that again.

In our lifetime who are the great vocalists?  For some reason today I'm stuck in 1990 so I think of artists like Sinead O'Connor, Bjork, Tori Amos, George Michael, Mick Hucknall (Simply Red), Whitney Houston, Anita Baker, etc.  I think about Anita Baker because she is magic on the album Rapture.  A solid collection of eight songs that all fit perfectly together and she simply destroys every song.  If the songs on Lone Justice were generic rock songs, then the songs on Rapture are generic R&B songs and Baker makes it a four star album easy. 

This is the second album in a row I've reviewed where I felt the music and writing didn't live up to the vocal talent. I guess writing a solid album of songs is a pretty hard thing to do. Following the Rhapsody rating method I give it 2 out of 5 stars for Not Bad.


  1. One of the best live-on-TV vocal performances I've seen was Sinead O'Connor doing "Success Has Made a Failure of Our Home" with an orchestra on Saturday Night Live. Of course, no one much ever talked about that performance after it happened because her second number that show was when she ripped the picture of the pope in half.

  2. I think she's the best vocal performer I've ever seen.