Back in 2014, you couldn’t walk 100 metres without hearing George Ezra’s breakout hit Budapest, an instantly memorable indie-folk tune which made him an overnight sensation. Four years later and Ezra is back with his second album Staying At Tamara’s, which shows him trying to match his previous success.
The first half of this album is nothing new. Acoustic folk and country picking dominate opening tracks Pretty Shining People, Don’t Matter Now and Shotgun, all of which build into huge, joyful choral singalongs with chants like, “Don’t we all need love, the answer is easy.”
Get Away is another bouncy pop tune, and could be renamed Budapest Part 2, before the driving Paradise, which isn’t even subtle about borrowing ideas from Proclaimers classic 500 Miles. At this stage, it feels Ezra is throwing in everything to make the most inoffensively safe singalongs possible, but Staying At Tamara’s does start to pick up.
The Maroon 5-esque Sugarcoat is infectiously dancey indie pop, and feels more detailed and personal. Hold My Girl then shows a more tender side, before swelling into Mumford & Sons-style instrumentation. All My Love and Only A Human have a hint of Marlon Williams’s crooner abilities. The album closes with the spacious soundscapes of The Beautiful Dream.
Ezra has definitely grown as a writer, so maybe he should Stay At Tamara’s a bit longer if he wants to make a really consistent record.
Edited by Pete Spurrier