The multitalented, melodic rapper/R&B crooner known as James Cole is back this August 23rd with some of his best material so far in the single “Type of Guy.” Smooth grooves are the name of the game in “Type of Guy,” which is undisputedly one of the more instrumentally intricate tracks that Cole has ever released, but there’s also plenty to be said about the lyrical style he uses here and how much it’s grown in the last twelve months. This isn’t the first instance in which he’s stoked a lot of interest from discerning listeners across the board, and my gut tells me that it will not be the last.
This summer’s hottest singles have been lopsidedly bass-heavy, but that isn’t the case with “Type of Guy.” Cole doesn’t have to weight down the backend of this track with any of the oversized basslines that you’d normally find in something geared specifically towards the nightclub crowd because these beats are already dense enough to sustain the vibrant flow of the vocal on their own. In a year that has been plagued with a lot of gluttonous behavior on the part of pop musicians, Cole is setting an example that his peers and rivals alike could stand to learn something from.
James Cole gives a really emotional performance every time he picks up the microphone, but he’s really pouring his heart out to the audience in “Type of Guy.” The narrative in this single isn’t even particularly sensitive in nature, but there’s never any doubt as to his authenticity throughout the song. The instrumental melodies have as much of a story to share with us as Cole himself does, and though both have less than four minutes to impart their message, nothing about this track sounds rushed, forced or thrown together in some last ditch effort to connect the aesthetical dots.
Though I can’t be certain, I think that a lot of time must have gone into fine-tuning this master mix to be as lean and mean as it is. The vocals, synthesized melodies and percussive tones are very delicate, but they’re not at all brittle – a distinction that I feel is more than necessary to make – and the mix provides them with just a little bit of assistance in staying as warm and evocative as they would be in a live setting. Much like the actual material that it supports, the production quality here is worth a round of applause for sure.
I was admittedly expecting a lot out of this latest release from James Cole, having been really fascinated with his last single “Cali Queen” and its impeccable remix from AX.EL, but I am pleased to say that “Type of Guy” is utterly smashing and everything that I had been hoping it would be. Cole is finding some consistency as a songwriter, some strength as a singer and a lot of confidence in his lyricism, and that combination is going to lead to some really great things as the 2020s come into focus. He’s making all of the right moves right now, and that’s not something that can be said for very many greenhorns getting into the game today.