(EMI) It would have been so easy to record a bunch of covers like Colin James has done with Robert Palmer’s `Sneakin Sally Through The Alley’, John Lennon’s `Jealous Guy’ and Fleetwood Mac’s `Oh Well’ and toss out one of those types of tribute albums that Rod Stewart’s been living off. Yet to his credit, James has off-set these tracks with a bunch of sizzling new releases that compare favourably to his cover credits.
Co-produced with studio veteran Joe Hardy, James joins forces with the likes of Big Sugar’s Gordie Johnson and singer/songwriter Ron Sexsmith to produce a batch of R&B tracks that just ooze confidence. The arrangements are solid, guitar work is stunning and the vocals are crisp and melodic. What really works is that by recording a stunning cover like Fleetwood Mac’s `Oh Well’ and then following it up with original tracks like `I Need You Bad’, the infectious `I’m Diggin’ and first single; Stone Faith’, the comparisons between covers and originals are so complementary. Fifteen is an album which really shows off James’ prowess as a masterful recording artist. Not one weak track on the entire recording.