Folk Pop, 2018
It may sound like a hyperbole, but while listening to George Ezra’s Staying at Tamara’s, I feel just like I did when I first discovered Bruce Springsteen – every song has a story, and I love each and every one. The voice is gorgeous, pure and clear and gorgeously masculine, and I feel like I’m slowly falling in love.
Wait, did I say slowly? I hit rock bottom right after Hold My Girl – about a working class man who has been saving up and waiting for the woman he has his eyes on to acknowledge his existence; it’s very Sad Eyes, now that I think of it – and normally lactose intolerant me is even perfectly fine with the cheese that is The Beautiful Dream because, baby, his voice during that chorus. I will never mock fans of Michael Bublé again, because I suspect that Mr Ezra is to me what Mr Bublé is to his creepy fans.
Pretty Shining People is so gloriously American bluegrass that I can only wonder whether this fellow is really from the UK. Don’t Matter Now is a different kind of beat altogether, as it’s an eclectic blend of Motown-like funk, old school big band, and various other musical elements to produce a gorgeous, mellow tune. Get Away is another different kind of song altogether – it’s very Tom Petty-ish, and really, if one has to nitpick, one can say that Mr Ezra is like a chameleon, as each song feels like it is in a different tempo apart from the others. Does it matter, though? Throughout everything, there is that gorgeous voice, top notch production values that accentuate rather than mask or overpower that voice, and a great hook in every tune.
Shotgun is awesome – it’s probably my favorite song of the bunch as it makes me feel so, so happy. The verses make me feel like it’s a sunny day all year long, and the chorus makes me want to raise a beer and holler along with Mr Ezra. It’s the best kind of feeling. No, wait, I love Paradise too – for a while, I think I am listening to the bastard spawn of Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash, and go, “Eeee! I will drive all night to get to your ring of fire, baby!” – and then goes into his falsetto and I think I actually blush. Oh god, what am I turning into?
Seriously. I really love every second of Staying at Tamara’s. Still, I have to admit, perhaps a big part of my love is because of how well George Ezra brings me back to those days when I was swaying my arms and singing along to all those men with guitars and gorgeous voices a few decades ago. I know, I’m an old coot out of touch with today’s landscape of rap beats and numb dance beats, so humor me and leave me in the good hands of the likes of Mr Ezra.
Now, let’s hear Hold My Girl again…