Michael James is not just another singer/songwriter who sounds like Dave Matthews, John Mayer, or Jeff Buckley. While he does find inspiration from these artists, James’ music remains undeniably original simply because he isn’t trying to imitate any of them. Michael's music is best described in one word: heartfelt. James' songs are built with honest lyrics and catchy melodies all layered upon textured guitars.
In 2004, Michael released his debut solo EP ‘Loft Sessions.’ It quickly generated buzz both locally and nationally. James’ song “Lost in You” spent several months in heavy rotation on the East Coast College radio circuit while numerous other tracks from ‘Loft Sessions’ saw air-time on Colorado radio stations. Michael is currently finishing up work on the follow up to ‘Loft Sessions’ due out in fall 2005. Tony Fiore, owner of Globalsound Recording Studio says this of James’ upcoming release: "These are the songs that make the music industry sit up and take notice."
Operations Manager Hard Rock Cafe Denver
"Michael James is a talented, well put together, refreshing act! It was a delight to have him play our venue."
Monkey Boy Records
"When I first heard Michael James' recorded material, I was expecting another good quality but just another fairly good local artist .... after hearing a couple of songs I realized there was something different about this guy. Probably one of the best songwriters I've heard in terms of capturing interesting lyrics and strong melodic lines that make you want to sing along. And then when I heard him live, I was a true fan. Love this guys music!"
Owner, Globalsound Recording Studio, Inc.
"Michael writes lyrics anyone can identify with, and delivers them in a way that convinces any listener that it is straight from the heart...These are the songs that make the music industry sit up and take notice."
REVIEW: Everything We Used to Be
By Laura T Lynch of Kweevak.com
Michael James' music is melodic, acoustic rock with a modern edge. He writes personal lyrics that are serious and soulful. Michael uses a variety of vocal textures to convey assorted moods and tones in his music. Everything We Used To Be is Michael's second release featuring eight expressive songs. The new CD is an evolution of an artist as James continues to define his musical vision and mature as a writer. Michael is a genuine artist singing songs about life experiences that people can relate to and thus connect with him. 'Lost In You' is the opening track with haunting, intriguing lyrics in a layered, acoustic arrangement. 'Room To Breath' is heartbreaking, honest and hopeful – lyrically, musically and vocally. Michael James is a compelling and convincing performer and Everything We Used To Be is intricate and original!
REVIEW: Everything We Used to Be
By Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
The first thing that hit me in a big way with Michael James was that his vocals reminded me of Steve Hogarth (Marillion) on several occasions. He has that emotive style that is deeply rooted in his soul and every word he sings he actually feels, then so do you while you are listening.
Everything We Used To Be is about relationships, the entire album encompasses you in the feelings and stories found in each track. If you look at the title, it is in direct proportion or parallel if you will, to every song. It sounds as if James based the recording on a beautiful relationship he once had and how it went sour, followed by the ensuing situations and emotions caused by the event. '"Room To Breath" says a mouthful and "Perfect Disagreement" is the road to divorce in any relationship, after a while it wears you down and you both give up and suddenly one of you is "Half a World Away" and the other is "Lovesick" with an "Empty Bed."
While the words, punctuated quite well by James' convincing vocal style make it all happen, the instrumentation ends up being the perfect bedfellow for his lyrics and tasteful nuances. The music creates atmospheres that fit the words like a glove, from brooding and sad to melancholy and ecstatic, the entire range of emotions gets equal time on all eight tracks.
This was very moving music and I enjoyed how real James made this for me while listening. It was like he (or whomever he is singing about) jumped inside me so I could feel everything that was being said. That is powerful stuff and it does not happen that often. Bravo Michael! You stole my heart and mind away for 30 minutes. Now that is what music is supposed to do.
Michael James Bio
Upon listening to singer/songwriter Michael James's new album Everything We Used to Be, one knows one is hearing the craft of a gifted artist. The sound is reminiscent of Jeff Buckley, Dave Matthews, or John Mayer, but it is not because the songs are an imitation of the works of these successful writers. James's undeniably original songs capture heartfelt lyrics and resonant melodies. They are comparable to the recordings of other great songwriters not only in sound, but also in skill. The songs are at once catchy and moody, bringing to mind both the pop melodies of Howie Day and the honesty of David Gray. But the passion of Michael James sets his work apart from the rest of modern popular music. His emotional song-craft has captivated audiences wherever he goes, bringing him from intimate venues all the way to the Hard Rock Café in Denver and Diversafest 2005 in Tulsa.
It is hard to pinpoint the exact moment when Michael James started his life as a solo songwriter. Until recently he toured and recorded as the front man of a band in his native Colorado, with indie label backing, honing his textured guitar playing and honest vocals. However, music has been the focus of his life since long before then, and it shows in his intricate songwriting. Building from his experience and passion for life that is at the core of his music, Michael James recorded his debut solo EP Loft Sessions in 2004. It has been played heavily on East Coast college radio, as well as on stations in Denver and throughout Colorado. Michael recorded Loft Sessions on his own, but his new album, Everything We Used to Be, is ready to brilliantly break out onto a wider market this year with fully produced, fully realized songs. Although it is difficult to say where Michael James's songwriting began, it's easy to say where it will take him: anywhere he wants it to go.
And he'll take you there with him. Listen to Michael James' new album Everything We Used to Be -- coming out on Radio Sky Music in the fall of 2005 -- and you may hear influences of modern masters like U2, Radiohead, Duncan Sheik, REM, and Damien Rice, but most of all you will hear Michael's own voice, and his heart. The first single, 'Room to Breathe', heart-wrenching and hopeful at once, will have you lost in the beauty of the music, and the experience of the musician. In a time when popular music can be impersonal and artificial, James delivers soulful songs that are not only refreshing, but also as genuine as you can get.