Josh Kumra - Good Things Come To Those Who Don't Wait
It feels like the debut album from Josh Kumra has been a long time coming. First storming onto our radars with his Wretch 32 collaboration 'Don't Go' in 2011, the two years since have seen him slowly building up a solid fan base in preparation for the release of Good Things Come To Those Who Don't Wait. Fortunately the title isn't the precursor of what's to come from the Wiltshire singer-songwriter.
Kumra has moved away from the token rap verse present in 'Don't Go' and follow up single 'Helicopters and Planes', instead opting for a much more organic sound which is simple, yet can be devastatingly haunting. Opening track and first single 'The Answer' has been snowballing airplay for months now and the album version is definitely radio friendly. Compared to the stripped back live version, we're slightly disappointed. This track, previously a nauseatingly intoxicating number has been over-adorned with layered melodies and the quicker pace means that the emphasis over the album title lyric "Good things come / To those who don't wait / For the right time / The right place" is slightly lost amid the unnecessary atmospherics. It's still a good song, but it seems a little tame.
Making up for 'The Answer' in dramatic lyric pronunciation is 'Keep On Walking'. A steady thudding beat sets the scene for Kumra's dreamy tones and shows promise for airings on stage. The percussion leading up to the final powerful chorus practically comes with its own fist pumping audience. Next up is 'Don't Go', and far from falling back on old material, the new version breathes new life into what was one of 2011's most overplayed tracks. Looped female backing vocals provide an eccentrically addictive beat to the point where it almost feels as though this is a new song, added as an afterthought. To delve into a new album with a couple of familiar reference points simply makes listening to Good Things... all the more endearing, twisting nostalgia into something fresh.
Lots of genres are touched upon, 'Find My Way Home' having a jazz spin to it with an accompanying gospel-esque hand clap beat. Lyrically, Josh Kumra is easy to relate to without losing the edge which is essential for success in the over-saturated singer-songwriter acoustic genre. A guest slot from Maidlay is the cherry on top of the sundae, slotting into the sickeningly sweet duet 'White & Black' with country twangs and a smooth chorus not unlike something we would have heard from The White Stripes circa 2004.
This is not Josh Kumra at the top of his game yet while this album may be getting played on the likes of Magic FM, but this album isn't as 'safe' as it's being sold. Scratch beneath the surface of this well structured pop album and you'll find not only a multitude of influences, but a variety of songs deserving of an hour of your time. Watch out for album number two - it has the potential to transform Mr Kumra into a household name.