Eric James & The New Century – The City Lights EP
Label: Pure Tone Music
Release Date: 2006
Eric James could be considered just a normal guy hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Upon taking one look at him you wouldn’t see anything special. He doesn’t necessarily have any characteristics that make him stand out from anyone else, but it’s what is inside that truly sets him apart. Lyrically and vocally, he is a refreshing surprise to a genre filled with the copycat John Mayer’s and Chris Martin’s. While he doesn’t look the part of the musical genius he is, he and his band are defying what is expected of an indie-band.
The City Lights EP on first listen will no doubt remind you of such artists as Coldplay and maybe even a touch of John Mayer, but it stands as a testament to itself and proves that it is not just a carbon copy of the aforementioned bands. The EP starts out on probably one of the strongest tracks on the disc with “Long Road for the Lonely” and progressively declines becoming less up beat as the six tracks come to a finish. This is not to say that the quality of the songs diminishes as the EP concludes, rather it is more comparable to a sunset in that it starts out bright and poppy and then slowly closes with more somber tracks such as the finale, “The Saints who run this Town”. It’s a gradual progression and it’s after that metaphorical sun has set that The City Lights shines its brightest, because while each track is simply a delight, it’s the EP as a whole that really makes you want to come back for more. It’s not going to be the kind of deal where you like one or two tracks and you find yourself listening to only those select few, but rather, you will find yourself enjoying the complete EP.
Concluding, this is a very refreshing entry into the pop genre that will no doubt catch ears and probably make a few fans out of new comers to the magic that Eric James & The New Century have weaved, both lyrically and melodically.