Introduction to Reuben James
Vocalist and keyboardist Reuben James, known for his work with singer Sam Smith, releases his debut album, “Champagne Kisses.” The album is a collection of jazz-flavored soul/R&B tracks soaked in richly textured summer vibes. Over the past decade, the Birmingham-born artist has collaborated with renowned musicians such as Stormzy and James Bay, amassing over 50 million streams worldwide with his EPs and a ‘mixtape.’ “Champagne Kisses” is released on his own Rufio Records label.
“Champagne Kisses”: A Relaxed and Finely-Honed Experience
The album opens with Toast, where James namechecks himself with confidence before launching into the title track (and current single), Champagne Kisses. The song flows with a mix of momentum and relaxation, featuring Chicago-based rap poet Ric Wilson and London singer Joel Culpepper. The string arrangement is heavy and classic, making it a timeless piece.
All ten tracks on the album are under four minutes in length. James’ generous spirit shines through contributions from visiting guests, as their skills are blended seamlessly into the overall production and sound. Means The World features US alto sax virtuoso Braxton Cook and British flutist Gareth Lockrane, offering a rich musical experience that grows with each listen.
A Steely Dan for the R&B Generation
In This Could Be, James collaborates with south London’s Conor Albert for the vocal, creating a spacious soundscape that continually evolves with new elements. It’s reminiscent of Steely Dan for the R&B generation, with jazz sensibilities and harmonies running through accessible and engaging music that appeals to a wide audience.
“Satisfaction” – A Funky Collaboration
A highlight of the album is Satisfaction, where veteran vibesman Roy Ayers joins James, CARRTOONS, and East Coaster FONVILLE for an edgy and funky track. Despite its short length, the tune showcases Reuben James’ sensibility, economy, and generosity.
In a further display of this generosity, “Champagne Kisses” is available on all platforms for free. Fans can catch Reuben James on his autumn tour, which includes six UK dates and several European stops.
“Champagne Kisses” was released on June 23, 2023. Through this debut album, listeners are taken on a journey of jazz-flavored soul/R&B tunes, showcasing Reuben James’ talent and collaborative spirit.