James … the band

(Yes, that name is shared with a relative.)

Seems like most critics have the impression that the band James, which disbanded in 2001 after a career of almost 20 years, is remembered solely for the good song Sit Down and the bad song Laid.

For a second opinion, here are the top downloads for James at iTunes:

  1. Laid
  2. Laid
  3. Born of Frustration
  4. Laid (live)
  5. Laid
  6. Say Something
  7. Sit Down

For once, popular sentiment is almost right. Laid is a fun song, and Say Something isn’t bad. But Born of Frustration is brilliant — swirling guitar, perky trumpet, lyrics that evoke hope amid disillusionment. The British have a knack for doing those songs, perhaps because The Knack was actually a California band.

OK, that was awful.

Anyway, I heard Born of Frustration on my Christmas present — XM radio. It’s as good as everyone says. I find myself listening to the “Fred” and “Ethel” alternative channels, both of which recall WHFS and Atlanta’s 99X in their better days, but I’m also exploring the jazz, bluegrass and Christian rock options. And the kids channel is nice and upbeat, mixing in bouncy tunes like A Fifth of Beethoven with kiddy tunes.

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