James Yuill - Movement In A Storm

We’d say that it’s not as good as Ellie Goulding, but that might sound a bit mean.

Moshi Moshi. They can do no wrong, you’d think. After all they’ve even managed to stick out a remix album this year (‘Night Light’ by Au Revoir Simone) that’s got positive reviews across the board. You might therefore expect ‘Movement In A Storm’, the second album from ‘folkatronica’ artist James Yuill to be of a similarly high standard. It’s not.

For the most part we’d describe this album as uninteresting and uninspired. We’d say that it’s not as good as Ellie Goulding, but that might sound a bit mean. It would however give you a good idea at how glossy and uninspired this sounds. Boring electronics with added swooshing sounds (for depth, we’d guess) dominate the upbeat tracks, most of which have all life produced out of them. Despite evidence to the contrary the overall feel is of an album rushed out in order to capitalise on a zeitgiest. It sounds far too ‘now’ but there’s other issues too – the vocals are detached and indistinctly transatlantic giving the listener no entry point, it’s sickly and cloying in the sound making it uncomfortable (and not in a positive challenging way) on the ears.

On ‘Movement In A Storm’ (which, we’ll grant, is a wonderful title), James Yuill ruins what pace the record has by occasionally, and sadly predictably, cracking out an acoustic guitar. This happens at such irregular intervals that momentum is truly robbed, and made worse by the fact that each and every part played by the often layered instrument sounds completely identical. It’s the same motifs and chord sequences. Don’t get us wrong, we’re happy with artists not being virtuoso, but when it comes to mostly instrumental tracks (‘Wild Goose At Night’) you really would expect something more.

Some points have been given to the two positive aspects of this album: single ‘On Your Own’ and album track ‘My Fears’. The former is a moment where everything clicks together and is gelled by a huge chorus that proves to be a perennial earworm. It’s slightly more dancey than any of its bedfellows too, so more to recommend it. The second that we’ve mentioned is by no means as spectacular but is a track that simply fizzes nicely and poppily.

Other than these you’re honestly better off saving your money for a couple of Hot Chip albums instead. They’re far far better at this. If something does compel you to sit through the entirety of ‘Movement In A Storm’ and afterwards you find your ears in dire need of something with more grit and substance, we heartily recommend Slayer.

Tags: James Yuill, Reviews, Album Reviews

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