“Wanted On Voyage” George Ezra: Album Review

Facebook/George Ezra

Facebook/George Ezra

You might think that the world has enough guitar touting singer songwriters, especially if they’re from the UK. We already have Ed Sheeran, Jake Bugg, Hozier and legions of other bubbling singer-guitarists-do we really need to hear from another one? The answer is an apparent no, but George Ezra is the exception.

If you’re at all musically inclined, you’ve probably heard the name “George Ezra” floating around the internet. At just 21 years old, George Ezra is already taking over the world with his talent. Though his album is coming out today, it’s actually already been released in the other parts of the world. In the UK, Ezra’s debut, “Wanted On Voyage,” has already gone two times platinum, selling over 600,000 copies and topped the Official Charts for consecutive weeks months after the album was released. His lead single, “Budapest,” has also been played nonstop on BBC Radio and is starting to make rounds on American radio, but “Wanted On Voyage” is so much more than that.

Inspired by a trip he took by himself around Europe, Ezra made an album for others to listen to on their own life journeys. Songs like “Budapest” and “Barcelona” are obvious love songs named after European cities, and while that may seem cliche, Ezra makes it work in his own magical way.  At different moments in both songs, his deep, oaky voice almost seem ethereal floating atop relaxed guitar riffs.

As the record progresses, it only improves with songs like “Drawing Board,” a tongue-in-cheek tune about offing an unfaithful partner with a “pillowcase full of snakes” and imagining her “sinking just like led.” Ezra fantasizes about his plot to finish the relationship, but at last, his plans go awry. Though killing someone is obviously wrong, the song is playful and funny. In another situation that goes awry, Ezra pens “Blame It On Me,” a track in which Ezra assumes responsibility when things don’t go as planned, but in a way that is fun and uplifting all in the same.

To juxtapose the joyous moments of the album, “Did You Hear The Rain” offers bluesy, angsty guitars, cathartic “woos” and the line “Lucifer’s inside!” Ezra packs the punch in this momentous track, showcasing a heavier side to his music. Similarly, “Spectacular Rival” features the heavier side of love and travel; Ezra sings his deepest vocals in the whole album as he laments a lost love. The track, filled with wild string decrescendos and sporatic melodies, highlight Ezra’s soulfulness and proves that he’s much more than a guitarist with good looks.

Things aren’t always as they seem George Ezra. His boyish charm may cede him credibility with his music amongst the older folks, but a thorough listen to “Wanted On Voyage” will win over even the toughest of critics.

“Wanted On Voyage” is available now on Columbia Records.

Reach Music Editor Joyce Jude Lee here.