Nemo James is a British singer, songwriter, and guitarist living in Dubrovnik, Croatia. His latest album The Minstrel is a mixture of country and folk #Music that is profoundly deep. It was released on August 16th. It took more time for Nemo's music to grow on me than it did for other albums I have reviewed for this site. I have never been a strong lover of folk music, yet I found Nemo's album to be very interesting. The album is packed with 17 songs that are comprised of vivid storytelling. The music is full of acoustic sounds and soulful lyrics that have the power to penetrate listeners’ minds in an abstract way. I can tell that Nemo is a very seasoned musician who is serious about his work. Also, his music shows that he is not afraid to get in touch with the darkness of the human experience.  

Vocal display

Nemo has a very modest and refined voice. The way he executes his singing abilities demonstrates sophistication in a tempered manner. He generally sounds free and easy. His voice definitely has sensitivity and warmth. Yet at the same time, I sense melancholic vibes from him. I think it fits in well with the mood of the lyrics as well as the instrumentals. Nemo's voice is so subtle and airy that one can barely be irritated by his singing after listening to the album multiple times in a row. It is not very hefty, but it does command attention.

Favorite song for vocals: “Pride”

Instrumentation

The instrumentals are just as mellow as Nemo’s singing. They are a combination of guitar and drums, as well as other instruments. The instrumentation is carefully orchestrated, which produces beautiful sounds. The instrument that stands out the most to me is the guitar; it really gives the songs a signature touch of Nemo’s style. It seems as though the songs have a hint of blues (at least some of the songs) that make the instrumentation sound moody and harmonic. Overall, there is a sincerity about the background music that appears to have the power to encourage listeners to engage in sober meditation.

Favorite song for instrumentals: “Dreamer On The Run”  

Lyrical essence

Some of the songs have gloomy lyrics, and the others have cheerful lyrics. Nemo really showcases what great storytelling skills he has with this album. He manages to be very poetic, too. The lyrics are very down-to-earth and really capture the essence of the human spirit. Some lyrics highlight common struggles of human nature, such as dealing with broken relationships. Some lyrics highlight the beauty of love and acceptance. There seems to be a theme present throughout the album that embodies loneliness or the experience of being distant. In other words, the lyrics appear to depict what it is like to have a wandering soul with restlessness on the inside, which I found to be the most striking thing about Nemo's music.

Favorite song for lyrics: “The Poet”

Final thoughts

I give Nemo James’ latest album a 6.5 out of 10 rating. His songs really did give me a strong impression of what pure folk music is. I admire the earthy and simplistic melodies that are present in the music. I also like how the musical stylings emit vibes that reflect a deep longing for meaning and purpose. Overall, this album is great for those who don't mind to dig into gloomy moments of life.

To hear The Minstrel for yourself, click the image below. Let me know what you think afterward!

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