James Fox’s new album, All the Fours has that kind of weight and gravity that only comes from a musician who has, as they say, ‘lived a life’. Experience and life stories are not something you can fake. You can try, and Lord knows most musicians do but ultimately audiences know if the lyrics to a song are pure fantasy (nothing wrong with that) or come from experience. With James Fox, we’re much nearer the latter camp.
If he stopped now, James Fox would have had an amazing career. Representing the UK at Eurovision (you may mock but would you have the guts to? Only 64 people have ever done it!) he also had a remarkably successful career in both the West End and Broadway…and played for Her Maj. Any one of these things is usually the pinnacle of a musician or artist’s career but the trick is to continue pushing yourself. How to build on this?
Well, the musical style has certainly changed – this is far nearer a folky-rock, slightly Americana sound, certainly not plastic pop or show tunes. Reinventing yourself like this is not for the faint-hearted but having already negotiated some of the most nerve-wracking situations imaginable, this is something of a walk in the park.
“This album was written during a year that most of us were forced to stop. I rediscovered music again and started writing songs for the first time in years. The songs needed to come out, it felt like it was writing itself from time to time. I started getting very reflective and sifting through my past for the first time. It was therapeutic in many ways but also exhausting, upsetting and difficult. I have been as honest as I can possibly be with the lyrics on this album and have talked about everything from my issues with gambling, loss of family, friends, the music business, my own demons and fears, right though to hope, finding new and real love and happiness and everything that was in between. My career has been very diverse and I’ve been lucky to have had many amazing opportunities and experiences. Writing and recording this album, by myself during a pandemic at home, is what I’m most proud of. I didn’t think I was capable of it if I’m honest, so there’s a massive sense of achievement. I was very lucky to have the equipment at home to enable me to get this done with the help of a few friends remotely that mixed the album. I’m putting myself out there with total honesty for the first time. This album is a snapshot of time that I’ve managed to capture. It’s about me, my life so far…all 44 years of it. I hope people enjoy the journey!”
All the Fours is released on 5th February