James is one of those bands that I didn't really like the first time I heard them, but came to love later. At first I think it was the trumpet that kept me from embracing them, which I really can't rationalize. For a while I just had this bizarre prejudice against horn players in rock bands who weren't named Bobby Keys or Clarence Clemons. There was also the fact that Tim Booth was a little too dramatic for my tastes. I'm not sure whether he eventually toned it down, or I became more tolerant of that kind of thing, but it's something I got over. Most people jumped on the James bandwagon when Laid came out, but it took me a few more years, and the release of Whiplash before I got how great a band they are. "She's A Star" was the gateway drug that got me in the door, but the song that really hooked me was "Tomorrow." I've always loved songs that are basically one chord progression that builds into a crescendo, partly because I realize how hard it is to pull off well. Everytime I've tried to follow that pattern in writing a song, the result has either been really boring, or just really terrible (and most often some combination of the two). It's also a good example of my belief that it only takes one great line to make a great song. For most of this song, the words are pretty average, but the first couplet of the chorus is one of my all time favorite lyrics.

James - "Tomorrow" (mp3) from Whiplash

photo "borrowed" from


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