James Younger is feeling American, so much so that it’s the name of his album. He isn’t lying either, Feelin’ American is full of the guitar heavy anthem-like tracks (not saying these are anthems, just very reminiscent) America has thrust upon the world. Admittedly, this was more common-place 30 or so years ago… and that’s roughly how old this album sounds.
Opener ‘Monday Morning’ is the polar opposite of a Monday morning. It’s upbeat and happy, something that will either lift your spirits about another week at work or annoy you because other people aren’t feeling your misery. Scratch that, none of what’s on offer here is suitable for the miserable, it’s quite a cheery collection, even when about ‘Sleeping Alone’, which features the ever so romantic line “we shared a smoke behind the bike sheds”.
‘Running Wild’ is a highlight, and one you might want to learn the lyrics for, and fast. It feels like you’re doing it a great injustice if you don’t sing along and do a bit of air guitar too. It does sound a bit like an Arctic Monkeys impression, though. That, as well as the line “Night on the tiles” is a lot more British than American. Don’t lie on the album title, James!
‘Two of a Kind’ took me by surprise. As someone who isn’t currently in one of America’s Southern states, I wasn’t expecting it. The guitar has a “twang” to it, and Younger’s voice turns a bit Bon Jovi. He can adapt himself to each song quite well, this is also obvious in ‘We Are Lovers’. Well done on that, sir.
‘What Comes After the Weekend’ is a great bookend for the album, given that it started about the beginning of the week. There is a simple answer to this title, however: Monday and probably a hangover (or Tuesday if you went a little over the top). But, at no point was this mentioned, even after the line “You never know what comes after the weekend”. Just a tiny bit disappointed there.
Few albums have an exception the the rule that there’s got to be a “meh” track in the mix. ‘Simple Things’ takes the fall on this one. That isn’t to say it’s a bad track, just not up to the high standard of the rest. Some people only manage to get one good song out of a lot of average-ness, so that’s something to take with a pinch of salt.
America can produce this kind of album just fine on its own but that doesn’t mean Manchester born Younger shouldn’t have tried. He’s made the perfect album for a road trip, just so long as that road trip is the same length of time as the 11 tracks. It’s not as though Britain doesn’t produce music that has an effect on the world, even just Manchester has given enough.
‘Feelin’ American’ is out on June 25th.