REVIEW: James Pants – “James Pants”

James Pants / James Pants / Stones Throw Records

The unassuming, non-threatening dance grooves on James Pants will sneak up on you, end before you know exactly what has just happened, and occasionally leave you wanting more. Spokane, Washington’s James Singleton (also known as James Pants) certainly displays a unified artistic vision on the 14-track album, a sort of post-funk and disco blend. The result is often toe-tappingly groovy, but may only appeal to those who are not put off by the repetition of indistinct words and phrases. “Kathleen”, for example, has a funky keyboard and bass pairing that keeps things light and simple for three minutes – but Bootsy Collins James is not, and his “I’m gonna love you, girl” lyrics aren’t as consistently funky-fresh as the music.

Generally, these are the kind of vocals you might expect to hear at an outdoor rave that was postponed due to a rain delay, and now the PA is slightly water-damaged. Granted, there are still some kids who haven’t slept in days that are having the times of their lives gyrating around on the muddy grass, but after getting an impression of the beats and tunes, you might be tempted to check out the action on another stage. Strokes of genius rear their head up from under the dance hall synthesizers, in the form of the stellar guitar riff on “Every Night”, but by the time “Dream Girls”, the second last track on the album, rolls around, you get a strong impression that the album has simply started over.

Download: “Screams Of Passion”, “Every Night”

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