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Electric Light Image
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 33 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second full-length release for the British singer-songwriter was co-produced by Paul Epworth and Jon Green.
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Top Track

Us
Sometimes I'm beaten Sometimes I'm broke 'Cause sometimes this city is nothing but smoke Is there a secret? Is there a code? Can we make it... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. May 16, 2018
    80
    This adds up to a solid album that presents as an immediate difference to what went before, even if it does not roam too far from the grounds of its creator’s past. That certainly doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed. Electric Light is a thoroughly immersive ride that shows James Bay has plenty of ideas brimming in that now hatless head.
  2. Q Magazine
    May 16, 2018
    80
    This follow-up displays an admirable desire for transformation. [Jun 2018, p.111]
  3. May 17, 2018
    80
    Bay never seems like he's pandering; he sounds thrilled that he has a chance to make the kind of layered, genre-bending pop that he wants to make, and listeners may well find that freedom alluring.
  4. May 30, 2018
    70
    While producer Paul Epworth’s contribution is accomplished, adding a dynamism that maintains our attention throughout, the record seems to lack an underlying theme. Bay has been a bit too clever for his own good, and on Electric Light fails to latch onto a identity that makes him truly unique.
  5. 60
    It’s all accomplished and well-produced--as an introduction to these sounds, it’s absolutely on the money--but perhaps too scattershot to really gel.
  6. Mojo
    May 16, 2018
    60
    This ambitious record loses subtlety in the grand Springsteen-ish gestures of songs like Just For Tonight. Bay fares better with the looped, crunchy soul and more nuanced lyrics of Fade Out and Slide. [Jun 2018, p.95]
  7. May 18, 2018
    40
    All Bay has really done is exchange one set of generic production clichés for another.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Sep 9, 2018
    10
    Coming off his 2015 debut, "Chaos and the Calm," James Bay has shown a ton of growth. This 14-track rock/soul influenced record has been a joyComing off his 2015 debut, "Chaos and the Calm," James Bay has shown a ton of growth. This 14-track rock/soul influenced record has been a joy to listen to. Although many may think changing from indie-folk to a heavier rock/R&B sound is a bad idea, I think it is a great idea. With punchy rock jams like 'Pink Lemonade,' 'Sugar Drunk High,' and 'Wasted On Each Other,' show how this new style Bay has come upon really suits him. Other ballads like 'Slide,' 'Wild Love,' and 'Us,' it gives a callback to his 2015 release. In the end, this Rollingstones-Clapton influenced album is one full of bangers and no one can deny that. Expand
  2. May 18, 2018
    9
    Certainly a different direction here on this album. There's a variety of sounds coming in on this album, a lot more R&B and 80's Pop RockCertainly a different direction here on this album. There's a variety of sounds coming in on this album, a lot more R&B and 80's Pop Rock sound. There are quite a few very good songs, including Pink Lemonade, Wild Love, Us and Just One Night. Solid record overall, and one of the most refreshing albums of the year so far. Expand
  3. May 19, 2018
    8
    I was expecting another thing about this album, but it's cool. (And I really love Us).
  4. Jun 6, 2018
    7
    A well done follow up to his successful debut album, not as good as the previous tracks but still catchy! There is certainly a differentA well done follow up to his successful debut album, not as good as the previous tracks but still catchy! There is certainly a different sound, more experimental which I might enjoy more after more listens. Pink Lemonade is my favourite by far. Expand
  5. May 31, 2018
    7
    This album tried to experiment with different sounds and crossing genres whilst potentially being a risk I feel its paid off and its been doneThis album tried to experiment with different sounds and crossing genres whilst potentially being a risk I feel its paid off and its been done correct. From varied sounds from Electric/80's vibes etc. Its something I did not expect especially after his first album.

    Was very pleasant to listen to and would listen to on a regular basis.
    Expand
  6. May 18, 2018
    6
    A notable follow up attempt at creating a sound that is fuller, bigger, newer, and maturer than his first album. Unfortunately, it feels likeA notable follow up attempt at creating a sound that is fuller, bigger, newer, and maturer than his first album. Unfortunately, it feels like the artist was a bit too ambitious, trying to incorporate every popular sound out there, from electronic sounds, vintage 80's vibes, raw southern rock, to even some Chance the Rapper gospel feelings. The album feels a bit too pretentious, and a little to quick to try to please, as the artist anxiously keeps shifting and pulling out new tricks to keep the listener entertained...just as the song was starting to sit nicely. Even the closing song had great potential to be pure, and unpretentious, before a monologue comes out and instantly taints the song. There is great spirit, and I love the youthful ambition that can clearly be felt -- especially in a sophomore album. But all smoke and mirrors production tricks aside, when I think about the album from purely a musical standpoint... I can't really point out anything musically excellent or distinct. Very lastly, James Bay has a fantastic voice... I just wished that it wasn't so drowned out by the production in the album. Could have mixed so that his voice was a bit stronger and up front in the mix. But that is solely a personal preference. However, I'm excited to see what direction he will take in his following album. Too soon to say? Expand