Search - James :: Laid

Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1

Along with the more overtly quirky Pavement, James sought to bring the eccentric folk-rock of the Incredible String Band into the alt-rock era, and did an especially fine job of it on this 1993 release. Still reeling from ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: James
Title: Laid
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 9
Label: Fontana Island
Original Release Date: 10/5/1993
Release Date: 10/5/1993
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: British Alternative, Adult Alternative
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 731451494321, 731451494345

Along with the more overtly quirky Pavement, James sought to bring the eccentric folk-rock of the Incredible String Band into the alt-rock era, and did an especially fine job of it on this 1993 release. Still reeling from the U.K. chart success of their "Sit Down" single and Seven album, the Manchester veterans (who started out a decade earlier on their hometown Factory label) crafted this thoroughly accessible yet thoughtful collection. Especially infectious are "Sometimes," with its headlong strumming and chanted chorus, and the title track, with Tim Booth's vocals at their mannered best. Meanwhile, "Skindiving" finds the band venturing into the kind of experimental terrain that would later gain Radiohead enormous acclaim. Laid is a fine album from a chronically underrated band. --Bill Forman

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CD Reviews

An amazing album worth exploring
K. Edelbrock | San Francisco, US | 03/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Few albums I have encountered have the raw ability to consistently absorb listeners than James' Laid. Although receiving scant U.S. radio attention, this album intimately captures loneliness, fear, anger, frustration and reserved optimism. Two upbeat radio-hits, "Sometimes" and "Laid," complement the captivatingly mellow, hypnotically repetitious melodies of the rest of the album.

Booth's haunting vocal melodies and lyrical passion blend intensity and beauty in his exploration of themes criticizing Christianity (One of the Three; "I need proof before belief"), love and relationships (Five -O; "If we last forever, hope I'm the first to die"), and societal influence and expectations (Dream Thrum: "We made you feel the way you are is wrong: If you don't play the game, we'll make you change. I've changed ...").

In 12 of the 13 songs, James enhances absorbing moods, with the exception of the rather annoying, seemingly misplaced riff, Low Low Low, the only interruption to the album's otherwise soothing flow. It's the only track I am forced to skip in order to enjoy the grace of the other tracks. Despite this song, the album maintains a distinction unparalleled elsewhere, giving me one of the only musical collections consistently enjoyable for 14 or so years."
If it lasts forever....
K. Edelbrock | 11/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Yes, they're underrated. Yes Tim Booth's voice is a gift from God. Yes, it took me 5 years to appreciate the beauty and brilliance of this album, and the astonishingly prolific band that produced it; but, hey, better late than never :-)From opening strains of "Out To Get You" to the last haunting lyric of "Skindiving", this album is a winner. Reviewers were right to call it one of the best albums of the 90s. There is not a bad track in this collection of 13 songs. Among my favorites are: "Sometimes" (I dare anyone to find me a better chorus in pop music today); "One Of The Three" (Dear God....); "Five-O" (hands down, my favorite song of ALL TIME); P.S. (Stunning...Breathtaking...Beautiful.); Everybody Knows (I just bet they do).The wonderful thing about James (and the thing I think attracts people to their music) is their uncanny ability to marry perfect melodies with thoughtful, emotionally resonant lyrics. "Laid" is a perfect example of what James have done so well throughout their career. The album hangs together on thematic threads of hope, love, loss and spirituality; but the musical arrangements are anything but saccharine (just listen to the gently loping, yet sinsister guitar and percussion in P.S.). James prove that it is still possible to make intelligent, catchy pop music.Also recommended: "The Best Of", "Pleased To Meet You""
Say Something.
Jason Stein | San Diego, CA United States | 03/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I remember briefly seeing the video for 1993's "Say Something" on MTV. It struck a nerve and I have become a devout James fan. Having all their cds, I believe Laid to be their best. It is more haunting, original and consistent than any of their other cds, save Whiplash in 1997. Brian Eno produced Laid and did it very well. Great songs like "Out To Get You", "Sometimes", "Dream Thrum", "One Of The Three", "Say Something", "P.S.", "Knuckle Too Far" and "Laid" make this cd shimmer. A mostly quiet cd, Laid has the lyrical pain and haunting music to become a classic. This is a must have for any rock collector."