Hey Ma - James
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

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  • Summary: The first album in nearly 10 years for the British rock band was recorded in France.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Welcome return to form from nineties stalwarts, not much has changed with this tenth studio album but if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
  2. Setting out their stall with the strength and affirmation of the birth song 'Bubbles,' seemingly inspired by the arrival of Booth's first son, James gather themselves with an impressively solid stature.
  3. James do have more quirks in their sound and plenty of quirks in Booth, who is always willing to act like a fool if it is in service of the greater good. These are the things that make Hey Ma a welcome comeback even for those listeners who may never have been big James fans.
  4. If you liked James before, then they won't disappoint you now. [Fall 2008, p.81]
  5. No matter that he employs every possible cliche (and none more so than in the violin-choked Upside, in which he patronises immigrant labourers): once the guitars get rolling and Booth scrapes the sky with his tenor, you find yourself weirdly hooked.
  6. James has surprisingly reunited for this equally surprisingly strong comeback album. [May 2008, p.135]
  7. 60
    There's still an organic, soaring bluster to the music, too, though a shortage of obvious anthems this time. [May 2008, p.100]

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. NM.
    Sep 18, 2008
    A pure f*cking delight. Nothing more needs to be said. Great lyrics, great tunes, and genuinely enjoyable. The only qualm? The production is over-compressed. I'll fault the mastering for that. Collapse
  2. JorgeM.
    Sep 17, 2008
    Fabulous, poetic, inspirational, epic.
  3. SY.
    Sep 17, 2008
    Possibly my favorite album of the year. I was not a James fan until this album. Stand-outs include "Whiteboy" and "Hey Ma". The album is a bit politically charged but I like the clever lyrics and the interesting instrumentation (such as muted trumpts, etc.). Expand
  4. TomB.
    Sep 18, 2008
    great to have these guys back, and a welcome return to form. hopefully they have a few more albums in them, with this lineup. their 90s output was almost second to none. Expand
  5. thelistener
    Sep 19, 2008
    Great to have a new James release... Doesnt come close to Laid (which would be a 10 on my scale)... but is still quite good. The album seems to heavy on the horns at times.. Despite my score of 7, a must buy for any James fan. Expand