The first couple of plays to George Ezra’s new album Staying at Tamara’s will find the listener tapping their feet or nodding their head slightly to the catchy pop tunes, perhaps without the listerner themself knowing they are doing so. And in this, Ezra is more succesful than many of his established peers.
Four years after the huge success of his debut album Wanted on Voyage, where everyone was surprised to see what Ezra looked like after listening to his baritone, heartfelt voice, we get Staying at Tamara’s.
Written while Ezra took a holiday in Barcelona, the album might sound at times like a boastful friend who won’t stop yapping about his solo vacation abroad. It tackles your commonplace heartbreak problems, but also delves into mental well-being.
Right off the bat, the listener feels as if they’ve entered a party, and this flow continues rather eloquently till ‘Sugarcoat’, which is the album’s first real slow song. The album has a couple of easy summer hits – ‘Get Away’ and ‘Shotgun’ being the obvious choices, which will try to emulate the success of Ezra’s previous hit ‘Budapest’.
The call-and-answer type of music serves George Ezra well, which he uses thoroughly in the first half of the album. More importantly, it doesn’t feel like it is overused, and manages to keep the listener’s interest intact through multiple listens.
Ezra gets to show off his falsetto in ‘Shotgun’. ‘Paradise’ was the first single that was released, and was firmly in line with what one expected from Ezra. The only collaboration in the album comes with Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit. However, the sisters are only limited to backing vocals and harmony in the dark, reflective track, and one can’t help but think about how Ezra would mesh like with an artist with a dedicated verse to themselves.
A track that is bound to go unnoticed is ‘Only a Human’. It is a beautifully mellow song, fitting with the lack of percussion, and is a welcome break from his otherwise uptempo songs. It sounds something straight out of a Sam Smith album- props to Ezra and his introspective voice to diversify himself from the common singer-songwriter cliche.
The album ends with the synth-laden ‘The Beautiful Dream’, which is a fitting and warm end to the album, and makes one feel like the end of a journey.
Sophomore albums can often make or break an artist, and especially ones that hit instant fame with their debuts. However, Ezra manages to beat the odds and do exceptionally well on Staying at Tamara’s.
The album will no doubt be cherished by the George Ezra faithful, and appreciate his raw talent he has displayed since his debut in 2014. Moreover, the album does not drag on, and at 37 minutes, is paced well. It lets the listener appreciate and enjoy the well-produced album and impressive baritone of the singer-songwriter, who’s clearly talented beyond his years.