Keen admirers of George Ezra’s work let out a sigh of relief when his debut album finally hit the shelves on June 30th. With singles such as Budapest and Cassy O thrusting Ezra into the limelight and winning praise from critics, Wanted On Voyage is undoubtedly an axis in the 21 year old’s growing career. In a recent interview with TFFT, George Ezra spoke of growing up around mowtown and finding the blues himself; it’s only fitting that his debut release is a collection of varying interpretations of these genres.
On the first listen, this hefty sixteen track album is a lot to decipher and indulge in but as an artist, George Ezra has taken his rooted admiration of great icons such as Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie and found a unique vocal style without becoming an idealised replica. Thankfully, with Wanted On Voyage it is clear that he isn’t trying to reinvent an established style that has had generations of input; George Ezra isn’t afraid to bring in elements of pop to his sound and certainly doesn’t stray away from captivating hooks, fit for the perfect summer.
Stand By Your Gun is quite different from its live version, it is bright and fun and toys with minor elements of 80’s new romanticism. For those who were won over by the stripped back nature by of his live shows, the level of production on this debut release might take some getting used to but isn’t necessarily ill-suited to the ebb and flow of the record. Moving through the album you forget that Ezra really is quite a young artist and are drawn in by his competence as a writer and musician. Did You Hear The Rain‘s haunting intro showcases Ezra’s deep vocals and is one of the gems of the record which really presents him as an artist with writing skills beyond his years.
Given that this is George Ezra’s debut release, it would be untimely and naive to peg Wanted On Voyage‘ as the perfect record. Despite its slight imperfections, it is admirable to see the vast amount of growth and confidence in George Ezra as an artist with a very promising future.