This past Friday, soul-pop British singer James Arthur released his third studio album, “You.” Arthur, 31, quickly rose to fame after winning “The X Factor” in 2012 and releasing his incredibly successful debut cover, “Impossible.”
The album is authentic and, as Arthur puts it in an interview with Wonderland Magazine, “more inclusive and more about you. It’s inspired by other people.”
The album has 17 tracks and features many artists, including Travis Barker, Ty Dolla $ign, Shotty Horroh and Adam Lazzara.
“You” opens up with the title track, an inspiring and strong-willed song that discusses overcoming obstacles, being broken and becoming who you are meant to be.
This theme of vulnerability continues in “Finally Feel Good,” “Treehouse,” “Sad Eyes,” “Fall” and “From Me to You I Hate Everybody.” In these songs, Arthur reflects on his own struggles with addiction and the music industry, as well as how he has overcome them.
For fans of his hit love song, “Say You Won’t Let Go,” Arthur offers many similar songs on the new album, such as “Breathe,” “Maybe” and “Falling Like the Stars.” These tracks can make anyone want to be in love and offer the same warmth and fuzziness as “Say You Won’t Let Go.”
On the flip side, however, for those searching for a sad love song, Arthur offers “Marine Parade (2013),” “If We Can Get Through This We Can Get Through Anything,” “Car’s Outside,” “Quite Miss Home,” “Unconditionally,” “Homicide Love,” “Empty Space” and “Naked.”
Each song offers a different take on love gone wrong, including toxic relationships, long-distance and waiting for someone to reciprocate love.
While there are a few songs that are more upbeat musically, the majority of his songs are constructed as slow and powerful ballads.
In an interview with L’Officiel, Arthur explains how he composed the songs, using his “imagination” and “making it more of a stream of consciousness, and being inspired by other people.” Arthur believes this allows for his album to “feel more inclusive, a bit more like conversational.”
Compared to his previous albums “James Arthur” and “Back from the Edge,” it appears that Arthur is opening up and allowing his listeners to connect more to his music.
Using his own vulnerability, he taps into the good and bad aspects of relationships and personal struggles. With themes like this prevalent throughout the album, it’s easy to find songs to relate to and sympathize with.