Reviews \

James, ‘Hey Ma’ (Decca)

This Manchester band had a storied career — Factory Records alumni, contemporaries of the Smiths, loads of U.K. hit singles, not-unreasonable cries of “the next U2″ — but worldwide fame rose and fell with the title track of 1993’s Brian Eno– produced Laid, and they split in 2001. A reunion of the Laid-era lineup led to Hey Ma, James’ tenth studio album, and a clear attempt to re-create their most commercial sound — which works well on the ingratiating antiwar title track and the glistening time capsule “Oh My Heart.” It won’t wow today’s kids, but old fans will feel the requisite nostalgic rush.

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Tags: Albums