Tyler James was generally a nobody until he was known on the first season of The Voice UK as the dude with a falsetto, whom the show constantly reminded me was a good friend of Amy Winehouse. Well, now that he has another chance to sink or swim, thanks to a minty new recording deal after the show, he came up with A Place I Go, a collection of listenable tunes that is, unfortunately, as easy come as they are easy go.
Oh, and let’s be nice and not make jokes about how the title of this album predicted the poor man’s flopping on the UK charts, shall we?
Mr James’s lead single, A Single Tear, is pleasant but brings to mind too much of Justin Timberlake’s Cry Me a River. Actually, one can sing the chorus of Cry Me a River in place of that of A Single Tear and the rhythm doesn’t even skip a beat. The pattern continues in melodic “But where have I heard them before?” tunes like Heart Shaped Hole and Hand of Glass.
His cover of Terence Trent D’Arby’s Sign Your Name is a bit off to my ears, but his version of Steve Winwood’s Higher Love is actually a nice laid-back interpretation. The latter is much better than his awkward live performance of the same song on The Voice UK. Unfortunately, Mr James’s Higher Love isn’t an original interpretation as much as it is tailored after James Vincent McMarrow’s fabulous interpretation of that song.
And that’s basically the problem of this collection of tunes. Sure, the songs are easy on the ears, well produced, and worth a spin or two on the player. However, they are basically generic or reminiscent of songs by other artists, and it’s hard to remember any of them once the music stops.