|George Ezra||Staying At Tamara’s|
George Ezra — Staying At Tamara’s (23 Mar 2018) ρ•ð Youthful, big~voiced Bristol~based singer~songwriter specializes in classy, soulful folk~pop.
ρ•ð Every tune is catchy with an easily visualised and felt story. (D I Harris)
Born: Born June 7, 1993 in Hertford, England
Location: Bristol, UK
Genre: Indie Rock Singer~Songwriter
Album release: 23 March, 2018
Studio: Voltaire Road Studios, Clapham, London
Record Label: Columbia
01. Pretty Shining People 3:32
02. Don’t Matter Now 2:56
03. Get Away 2:34
04. Shotgun 3:21
05. Paradise 3:42
06. All My Love 2:41
07. Sugarcoat 3:22
08. Hold My Girl 3:31
09. Saviour (feat. First Aid Kit) 3:32
10. Only a Human 3:35
11. The Beautiful Dream 4:30
℗ 2018 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited
ρ•ð After the consuming business of touring for his million~selling debut Wanted on Voyage, George Ezra had time to consider the politically turbulent world and became gripped by anxiety. It sent him to the relative solitude of English farms and Barcelona boarding houses to write this follow~up. Despite, or maybe because of, that isolation, he’s emboldened his worldly folk~pop with the communal spirit of call~and~response verses, gospel choruses and breezy odes to solidarity. A sense of fellowship suits the warmth of his baritone — and his transition from open mics to open~air stages — but he still offers intriguing glimpses of vulnerability and darkness on the reflective “Saviour”.
ρ•ð “George Ezra returns with his highly anticipated sophomore album Staying At Tamara’s. Three years after the release of his 4x platinum, number one debut album Wanted On Voyage, George returns with a collection of “songs about escapism, dreaming, anxieties and love”. Uninhibited, feel~good new single ‘Paradise’ previews the new album and is available now to stream and download. Just like Wanted On Voyage, Staying At Tamara’s was written, created and inspired by George’s travels, including spells on the Isle of Skye; at a pig farm in Norfolk; in a former cornflour shed in Kent; a converted cow shed in north Wales; and in an Airbnb in Barcelona owned by the Tamara of the album’s title. The result is a finger~snapping, brass~blaring, wind~in~the~hair album that shines with positivity and encouragement, alongside moments of more subdued reflection.”
• Australian Albums (ARIA) #7
• Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria) #6
• Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders) #23
• Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia) #50
• Canadian Albums (Billboard) #22
• Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI) #23
• Dutch Albums (MegaCharts) #7
• German Albums (Offizielle Top 100) #10
• Irish Albums (IRMA) #2
• Italian Albums (FIMI) #57
• New Zealand Albums (RMNZ) #8
• Scottish Albums (OCC) #1
• Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE) #99
• Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan) #43
• Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade) #6
• UK Albums (OCC) #1
• US Billboard 200 #68
Laura Snapes, Fri 23 Mar 2018 10.00 GMT / Score: ***
ρ•ð Even by the standards of critically uncool music, George Ezra is not cool. Time was when all any summer jam needed was a guitar~playing hat man faintly acquainted with ska. That simple time is over, the sound of the summer is now self~loathing set to slinky dancehall. Paolo Nutini is in the wilderness. Even Olly Murs sings sex jams now. It makes Ezra’s second album a total anachronism, and potentially more charming for it: horns parp, hands clap, choruses rouse and seethe with bonhomie.
ρ•ð It’s easy to forget that Ezra’s debut, Wanted on Voyage, made him 2014’s third biggest~selling artist behind his much higher~profile peers Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith. On Staying at Tamara’s, he follows the path trodden by Sheeran between x and ÷, stripping the intriguing darkness out of his music in favour of near~relentless positivity. This might seem cynical if cynicism weren’t so thoroughly absent from the album, which instead nobly sets out to bring cheer to the world in uncertain times, and reassure the anxious that it’s fine to check out of the news cycle if it’s messing with their mind.
ρ•ð With the scary stuff (like standing on “an island in an ocean full of change” in Pretty Shining People) sidelined, Ezra focuses on the good things in life: holidays (the treacherously catchy Shotgun), dreams (Get Away) and all~consuming romance. This would constitute saccharine overload were it not for two things. First, towards the end of the album, Ezra exchanges rustic, Mumfords~ish euphoria for a few darker songs, including Hold My Girl (quite nakedly inspired by the National’s I Need My Girl), Only a Human (a contemplative piano ballad reminiscent of Lorde’s Liability) and standout Saviour, a paranoid, Nashville~tinged tempest.
ρ•ð The second thing that saves Staying at Tamara’s is its disarming likability. With his optimistic baritone, Ezra has the boyish gravitas of a youth pastor, and as artless as his lyrics are, his hooks stick firm in the mind. These are songs destined to soundtrack supermarket adverts extolling the convivial virtues of barbecuing. They stand up to scrutiny about as well as a cheap sausage, but slip down just as easily.
By Nick Reilly, Mar 23, 2018 6:39 am / Score: ****
The boy’s done good
ρ•ð Four years ago, George Ezra scored the UK’s third highest~selling record of the year: his debut ‘Wanted On Voyage’ was topped only by the stadium~filling anthems of Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith. But while world~beating tracks like ‘Budapest’ were enough to sustain Ezra’s immediate success, an altogether more pressing question of what to do next soon followed.
ρ•ð The answer, it transpires, was to head to Barcelona, where Ezra decamped to write a second album that takes his jaunty charm and injects it with a vital slice of maturity. ρ•ð It’s teeming with uplifting tunes intent on burrowing their way into the deepest recesses of your ears.
ρ•ð Opener ‘Happy Smiling People’ sees Ezra anchoring an infectious chorus around dark and world~weary lyrics: “What a terrible time to be alive if you’re prone to overthinking”, he croons, before offering a message of upbeat and hearty resilience (“Hey pretty smiling people, we’re alright together“). ‘Shotgun’ is another early standout, providing Ezra with the chance to prove that he’s far more than a identikit troubadour as he delves into Afrobeat rhythms a world away from his first record.
ρ•ð As the album progresses, the choruses get bigger — reaching their apex at the album’s midpoint with the defiant stomp of ‘Paradise’, an on~the~nose tale of headiness during the early stages of a relationship.
ρ•ð The emotional thread gets a lot more serious during the final third, notably on the soft cut ‘Hold My Girl’, which sees Ezra ditching the twanging guitars for his most soul~baring song yet — one destined to become first~dance material.
ρ•ð Maturity, however, is no bad thing — it provides one of the record’s strongest songs in ‘Saviour’, Ezra’s first collaboration with Swedish country sensations First Aid Kit. Like the theme tune for some imaginary neo~western, it perfectly combines Ezra’s deep vocals with the soulful vocal stylings of the Soderberg sisters.
ρ•ð Ultimately, it’s this blend of new~found maturity and crowd~pleasing choruses that transform Ezra’s second offering into the perfect progression from the sound of his debut. ρ•ð http://www.nme.com/
Rosanna Greenstreet, Sat 24 Feb 2018 08.00 GMT
George Ezra: ‘I don’t have a diary but I do have a sister, or “assister” as I call her’
ρ•ð The singer~songwriter, 24, on touring, drinking and the importance of sleep
ρ•ð This isn’t very rock’n’roll, but I am useless unless I get plenty of sleep. I get off stage and go straight back to the tour bus. It’s more important to get my head down than to please selfie~hunters. I’ll probably fall asleep listening to a 20~hour audiobook on my minor obsession, the Tudor monarchy. At home, I put my phone on airplane mode by 9pm, get into bed, read and drift off. I set the alarm for 8am and rise with the day.
ρ•ð I see food as a reward system. If I do half an hour in the gym, I’m allowed to eat rubbish. My parents are vegetarian, so I didn’t eat much meat growing up, and don’t cook it often now. For breakfast I mix Rice Krispies with muesli. I have lunch on the fly: today a salad from the record label canteen. I love fish and roasted vegetables for dinner. I put on Radio 4 as I cook.
ρ•ð People think singers sit around doing nothing unless they are on tour, but you need to create online content and go through artwork and video concepts. I do the boring stuff in the morning. I don’t drive, so I walk everywhere listening to demos or voice memos of songs, to see what’s worth pursuing. I’ll play around with an acoustic guitar until dinner. I don’t have a diary, but I do have a sister, or “assister”, as I call her. Jess travels with me. That’s lovely when everything’s crazy.
ρ•ð I live with my girlfriend, who is a songwriter. It’s not easy on tour; we have special nights out to catch up. Hopefully, she’ll join the next one.
ρ•ð I love walking and the countryside: I got a month off after my first album and walked the Cotswold Way alone. I read: I love Haruki Murakami and Philip Pullman. I like to go to the pub with friends. The first year of touring I indulged — it’s hard not to at 19, and people want to show you the best party every night. But it catches up with you. Peers of mine drink every night and it doesn’t affect their performance, but I am not that guy. If it’s my name above the door and I can’t sing, there’s no point the show going ahead. ρ•ð https://www.theguardian.com/
|George Ezra||Staying At Tamara’s|