Jo James creates an innermost setting in his new song, “Do You Want Me”. The Austin, Texan channels that magic he brought to Season 17 of The Voice and takes it up several notches to bring the listener to their collective knees in this soulful and particularly entertaining track. While we may never know what would have happened should those judges’ chairs swiveled on the singing competition, it’s clear that James has moved on and is right where he needs to be in with his rousing single, “Do You Want Me”.
Though it’s a new song and fresh to my ears, I already felt emotionally bound to James. What I discovered in pursuing him on the net is that he’s an artist that keeps his fans guessing and engaged. That’s not so easy to do, considering we live in a world where the average attention span is three seconds (or less!). The amount of singles vying for attention is staggering. James’ approach is to slow down the pace, pull back the covers and seduce the listener with his sultry voice.
Tethered to James’ voice is a guitar filled with nostalgia and modern whip. James harnesses a large amount of emotional baggage in the guitar, I think, but it’s also painted with hope. The guitar sings at a higher range and synergizes with a hardly-there organ. I liked the colors that arise, the way James sings above this instrumentation as if he were both singing to a private, small audience, and could just as easily sing this song on an arena stage.
I think it would translate and work in both instances – further proof that the little goose pimples that pop up while listening to his voice are warranted. The song itself, I believe, is about connecting with another human being both on a romantic and emotional level. When James sings “nobody deserves to be alone” he calls to mind the listener’s sense of wanting to be a part of something, wanting to connect with another person on a higher level. I think he rightfully accomplishes this in the way he draws in the listener. He never lets them go. He builds a trust within the song and becomes this very likable creature singing to you.
Such an interesting thing to not further the organ orchestration. At first I thought James was going to play that up, melt it further into his ultra-cool vox. I was happily impressed – believe me, I’m a sucker for eclectic organ arrangements, but he made it sound like icing on the cake in “Do You Want Me”. The organ, albeit modest, gives the song that final ‘retro’ sheen that it so lovingly needs and deserves. That said, James, the artist we all need right now, is planted fully in the modern world with his emotional foundation. This is the song that makes the listener feel inspired that love is alive and it’s out there for the taking “Do You Want Me” is an exceptional song from an exciting artist.