San Francisco Bay Area music fans are well acquainted with Timothy "Space Captain" James as a psychedelic-pop band leader (Aquamarine, Squire-James Band, Big Luv Nation)and solo acoustic performer of uncommon presence. With the release of his latest project, "Burning In Color", issued independently under the "HIFIDELIC" moniker, it's time to meet some new and equally compelling facets of James' musical personality.
For starters, the album is chock full of slinky grooves, funkily understated keyboard textures and silky smooth vocals. (Think Hall & Oats and the blue-eyed soul elite.) Check out "Working Girl 2000", "Fire and Ice", "Fire of Our Love" and "Starvin' For Marvin", James' socially-conscious nod to a certain Mr. Gaye. And throughout the album's R&B flavored numbers, James also flashes a subtle but unmistakable cool jazz sensibility. Toss in a taste of contemporary beats and rhymes (rapper A g freestyles on "Sir Real Santa Cruz") and it's clear that this is one space captain who's comfortable exploring all corners of the pop universe.
Don't get the wrong idea, James' rangy guitar-pop roots don't go untended. "Artichoke Paradigm", a reflective, melodic rocker, and "Dr. Feelgoode", with it's soaring duel electric guitar passages, fit right into the eclectic mix. Come to think of it, same goes for atmospheric instrumental interludes including "Brew Bop", "Hard Beets", "Lyle's Mood" (a lovely solo acoustic piano number) and "Ocean Swells". It all fits together because James - who wrote, arranged, performed and produced damn near every diverse lick - moves effortlessly across genre boundaries. Face it, James is a tough guy to pigeonhole, but if you use the word "soulful" you'll never miss the mark.
-Music Editor, Pacific Sun