Klef Notes

Music Reviews

James B “Reality TV Star” (Rock) Great Britain

Finally a Rock song that does not pump its breaks when it comes to tone, tempo, and drive.  “Reality TV Star” is the latest track by British singer, songwriter, musician, producer James B (James Bacon). 

A song about unrealistically living reality starts with James B carrying a nice second tenor/baritone vocal prowess and building from sexy sweet, in his direction, to mellowed-out smooth.  In addition, his harmonies are so soulful yet Rock rhythmic.  The lead vocal is spliced with dual backing vocals to give a nostalgic Rock vibe. This vocal representation is hugged by distorted guitars that hold their own while leading the drumline and minimal FX to literally give the song a sort of Psychedelic, Progressive Rock edge. 

At the two minutes / 52 seconds mark, the lead guitar climbs and is then joined by the rhythm guitar meandering on playing the core melody.  These two guitar-gents are soon joined by additional guitars adding so much texture all layering each other in splendor.  All of this music magic highlights the story’s message - that unrealistic point of view that many reality TV stars illustrate as being REAL-LIFE.

"Reality TV Star" lyrically, and musically, gives the description of how these people flash this impractical way of life across our screens daily – sadly pitting young girls against each other eager to one day be like those so called “STARS” instead of aspiring to be better, loving themselves, and progressing to be greater.  James B sings:  Painted nails in fifty shades of grey, tiny dog, Louis Vuitton, a little too much make-up on, smiling is easy, easy but fake, try being nicer, it's not that hard, but she'll never change . . . Do you know who I am? / Don't you watch me on TV? / Do you know how I feel? / Are you looking at me? 

Finally a rock star who does not glorify the fake world of reality TV.  Finally, a track that has lyrics that state the obvious and honestly asks, what ARE they famous for?  We all know that these people are only famous for being famous.  We all know that there really is little to no talent, no real dreams, no (ah-hem) education, and sometimes, no real bodies.  And this track’s hook drives home this point “Reali-TV star, what are you famous for? Reali-TV star, what are you famous for?”  DONE! 

When you listen to the skill and ambition that is personified in the chord progressions within this track, you will quickly agree with me when I say that James B is the quintessential modern combination of a Jimi Hendrix merged with Brian May (Queen).  His playing is just so off the cuff and unorthodox that it really supplies a spine to music, thus leaving you telling yourself “this is surreal, this can only be a dream.”  But no son, this IS what reality sounds like – James B just plays THAT good!

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