James Bay’s Chaos and the Calm: Album Review

James Bay’s debut album, Chaos and the Calm, came out this Monday, and we’re absolutely in love with it already; we’ve practically had it on replay since it dropped. Here’s a play-by-play of the new album, just for you guys!


1. Craving
Just, wow. This is such a strong song to begin the album with. Its catchy and it completely hooks you from the get go. Great choice on Bay’s part to choose this one as the first song, because its already got me wanting to listen to more. And his voice? I would let him sing me the phone book.

2. Hold Back The River
What a song! Such a good choice for a single from the album, James takes sultry tones and turns them into something extremely fun, upbeat, and carefree. I can’t help but dance around to this one.

3. Let It Go
With this song, you can’t help but feel the emotion pouring from Bay’s heart as he serenades us through the speakers. It is absolutely amazing how he can go from belting his heart out to handling the chorus with such careful delicacy. We absolutely LOVE this song.

4. If You Ever Want To Be In Love
SO catchy. We can’t get over how amazing James can sound with a full band backing him. His voice is like a magnet, drawing us to him through all the instruments. As for our answer: yes, James, we do want to be in love with you. Pretty pretty please??

5. Best Fake Smile
I absolutely dare you to listen to this song and not dance around. This is an absolute JAM. James Bay knows how to reel us in.

6. When We Were On Fire
It’s always a burden doing an album review, because we love all the songs so much. But, there’s always got to be a weak song on an album. Don’t get us wrong, we really like this song, but it unfortunately doesn’t stand out compared to some of the other absolute smash hits.

7. Move Together
This song makes us thing of Ed Sheeran SO much. It’s so emotionally raw and genuine, with few instruments to really showcase Bay’s voice. Its such a personal and private song that being able to listen to it feels like we’ve been let in on a secret.

8. Scars
Unless you’re Ed Sheeran, its really difficult to turn pure emotion into a beautiful song, but James Bay completely knocks it out of the park. Plus, hearing it all come together in a burst of emotion makes this song such a hit.

9. Collide
Another one that I dare you not to get up and dance to. With fast paced verses and a cheeky rock tone to the instrumental, this song is something you’ll find stuck in your head after just one listen, its that catchy.

10. Get Out While You Can
A more upbeat song with more instrumentation, Get Out While You Can showcases James’ voice in a way that is different from previous songs. This boy has got a range of vocals on him, and he’s not afraid to use them!

11. Need The Sun to Break
Another one that reminds us of Ed Sheeran. With backing vocals to convey an echo, James Bay has basically provided us with the empty arena version of this already. This song has a great mix of slow melody and powerful ballad-like chorus.

12. Incomplete
What a perfect song to end the album on. Delicate, sweet, and emotionally full, Incomplete is just the right thing to end the album with. James, you can serenade us any day.

So, what do you guys think? Did you like the album? What’s your favorite song? Let us know over on twitter!

#ChaosAndTheCalm is my bae Click To Tweet
Writer, traveler, and lover of all things One Direction. Frequent concert attendee, paler than the average human, and quite possibly the first person who will die from loving Ashton Irwin so much. I enjoy panicking over small things, obsessing over Twin Peaks, and acting like a mom. You can usually find me being extremely sarcastic and sassy while simultaneously avoiding all responsibilities to focus solely on One Direction.

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