Search - James :: Wah Wah

Wah Wah
Wah Wah
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: James
Title: Wah Wah
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Polygram Records
Original Release Date: 12/6/1994
Release Date: 12/6/1994
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: British Alternative, Adult Alternative
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 731452640826

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CD Reviews

Another late night?
R. Lister | Palo Alto, CA United States | 05/07/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"the concept of Brian Eno working with James seemed a surprising stretch when Laid came out back in 1993. I mean, Sit Down, was a massive hit and they had the critical plaudits, but what was it that Eno (he of high-art-music like Low, Music for Airports and My Life in the Bush with Ghosts) had seen in them? Well, Laid itself was a hit, but I can't help imagining that it's Wah Wah that contains the real gold that Eno was after.James had always been open to improvisation and the story of this album is writ large across the results. After a day's pop recording, James (the band) would retire to a dimly lit studio to improvise free-form riffs and lyrics late into the night. Only two of the tracks on the entire album are not sourced from completely free-form improvisation.Having amassed a wealth of found sounds and half-formed songs, Eno and his sidekick Marcus Dravs split the results and mixed this album from the hours of tape they had collected. The result is twenty plus ambient guitar-based tracks that capture the feeling of 3am about as well as any album I could name. Don't expect the expansive anthemic pop that James made their trademark in the 90's - it bears almost no relation to anything James did before or since and so I've never worked out whether the magic was James's or Eno's. Does it even matter?I think the solution is that the sum eclipsed the parts, and this very unique and (I think) special album is the result. Any description of the music does it no credit - I guess the typical track has a looped guitar riff, coupled with Tim Booth's stream-of-conciousness lyrics and a clearly soldered-on-in-production electronica beat. The nearest relative I can think of is Aphex Twin's SAW1, but "Wah Wah" hums with warmth, life and has an intimacy that can keep you company until the small hours."
Freedom from the Mold
R. Lister | 09/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In ten years, what will make James stick out from Coldplay, or U2? While Laid was a success and their other projects were good what is it that really sets them apart? Wah Wah is the breakthrough, a project to free the band of both free time, and the usual constraints when attempting to improvise. The result is an album of 23 songs that are really on the fringe of an otherwise conventional art-pop band. Now an album of improvisation can call to question quality but in this case perhaps the subconscious has real merit. Wah Wah is a real gem of strange, but beautiful music taking some unexpected turns and filled with a refreshing sense of wonder."
Good, but obviously heavily improvised
R. Lister | 02/26/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)

"this album is good, and worth the [price]i bought it for... but, a lot of the songs have a very very strong indication that they are just jam sessions, with the lyrics repeating over and over, even when they're fairly mediocre, and it seems to be obvious that the reason they are being repeated over and over, is because he cant think of anything else to say. this is a good album, but is far from comparable to other james material, and if you're looking for a real "album", this is not it. this is more of a smattering of improvised meanderings, coupled with some strong material. not their best work, i think."