‘Regions…’ eases you in gently with the soft piano riffs of ‘State Of The Art (A.E.I.O.U)’ before the luscious ‘Know Till Now’ grabs your full attention placing dreamy reverbed vocals over a funky minimalist beat with some horns and freeform jazz thrown in for good measure. The psychedelia notch is turned up significantly on the Beatles-tinged ‘Dear One’ where tales of pushing boundaries of the soul and the ‘ticking synchronicity of time’ sit alongside a hefty dose of feedback without ever feeling out of place. The script flips once more with the exquisite ‘A New Life’, by far the most stripped-back thing here with just vocals at the start before a shuffling beat teases its way in. It sounds like a long lost piece of vintage pop from the 50’s, the sort that people like Del Shannon used to record in their heyday, pregnant with poise and emotion.
Splitting both halves of the record is ‘Exploding’, a short instrumental piece of gently finger-picked acoustic guitar which segues neatly into the otherworldly ‘Of The Mother Again’. Here we see James get in touch with his spiritual side, a theme which he revisits on ‘All Is Forgiven’ where the birth of Jesus is depicted, whilst references to rebirth and Martin Luther King pepper the spectral ‘God’s Love To Deliver’. It’s also worth noting the string-heavy ‘Actress’, its edgy filmic quality lending itself to soundtracking hazy summer afternoons spent in the park.
When you put out an album containing just nine tracks there’s no place to hide, and everything here has its rightful place.