We review James Bay’s ‘Chaos and the Calm’ using GIFs, because YOLO.

We all know James Bay is indeed a bit of a bae. We think he might have magical powers in his hat that lets him produce massive swaying sing-a-long hits. You’ve probably been warbling along to ‘Hold Back The River’ for weeks and now, the forecast is bright because we’ve listened to the WHOLE album on repeat this week and yep, every single track is a bit of a belter.

Instead of us waffling on telling you how bloody fantastic it is, because it really is. We’ve come up with an ingenious (if we do say so ourselves) easy way of letting you know how rad they are.

James Bay


If we could express ‘Craving’ in emoji form it would be this:


Next up it’s ‘Best Fake Smile’ a fist pumping, festival pleaser that can only be described as follows.

Taylor‘If You Ever Want To Be In Love’ is the next track on the album, slowing down the pace it’s one you’re going to be swaying to in a field. RAISE YR GLASSES.


Let it gooooo, let it goooo! No it’s not THAT ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen. This now makes us feel a little…

Cat“Why don’t you be you? And I’ll be me.” Lyrics that are indeed absolutely fantastic for you to have a cry along to and grab your pillow with a bar of Galaxy choccie.

‘Hold Back The River’ is next on the album, we all know this one already. It’s pretty much this GIF.


‘When We Were On Fire’ picks up the pace that the album started out at. Get your moves out for this one.


‘Move Together’ is another weepy, emotion fuelled track on the album, perfect if you’re crying over that recent break up. Not so great if you’re in a party mood. Swings and roundabouts.


‘Scars’ EVEN MORE HEARTBREAK!! “I can’t go without you anymore, OH NO!” Oh James, we feel you boo.


‘Collide’ is back to the booty shaking Mr Bay. The bass line is one you’re going to be wiggling to all damn summer long.


‘Get Out While You Can’ has a MASSIVE intro, seriously it reminds us of an arena filling Kings of Leon, twin that with the soulful sounds from James and it’s a right cracker on the album.


We’re nearing the end of the album now, second to last track ‘Need The Sun To Break’ brings us back to that swaying in the dark with your friends at a festival. Phone torches in the air, throat hurting from scream/singing along.


‘Incomplete’ brings James’s ‘Chaos and the Calm’ to a close. Sad face.  In all seriousness we’re loving this last one, it’s got some beaut sounding acoustic guitar clinking in the background and James pulls out a bit of the old higher pitched singing than normal. It’s definitely worth a listen.


We’re giving James Bay’s ‘Chaos and the Calm’ a right good 4/5. If you’re after the soundtrack to your summer this could be it, it’s one of those albums that could remind you of the most amazing times with your mates. We can’t wait to hear some of these tracks live and in a muddy field this year.

Got the album? Send us a Tweet to @maximumpop with your thoughts and all your GIF-feels, we want to see them!

‘The Chaos and the Calm’ is released 23rd March, click here to pre-order on iTunes.

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Written by Maximum Pop!

No dull pop stars allowed.

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