Georgie James: Need Your Needs

[8 August 2007]

By Tyler Womack

Need Your Needs is the first single from Georgie James, the new project of Q and Not U drummer John Davis.  In Georgie James, Davis shares front-person duties and song-writing credits with the buoyant Laura Burhenn.  Though the music is a 180-degree turn from the angular punk of Davis’s Dischord Records days, one can’t credit the group’s poppiness solely to Burhenn: Lead track “Need Your Needs” has disco qualities highly reminiscent of Davis’ last Q and Not U album, Power.  The remaining tracks on the single—“Cake Parade” and “El Condor Pasa (If I Could)” are no less impressive—are testament to the power of Georgie James as a unit.  It’s hard to say exactly what “Need Your Needs” is about.  Davis reminisces about his “evil days.”  Burhenn joins in the chorus, chanting “What you say doesn’t mean a thing to me anymore.”  The song may simply be an excuse to create a highly danceable ditty: The track bounces from raw-boned verse to shout-worthy refrain with athletic ease.  Equally suited to the dance floor and the car stereo, the headphone and the radio, this song more than any is due to put Georgie James on the map.  The second track on the album showcases Laura Burhenn’s vocals.  “Cake Parade” is an anti-war pop song that bounces along on a clean piano line, with a 7th-chord break-down that would make Billy Joel blush.  Burhenn’s voice is deep and clean, well-suited to the alterna-pop ballads of the mid-90’s—she could easily double for Fiona Apple.  It’s to our benefit, then, that she exercises both grace and taste in her additions to the single.  The final track is a cover of Paul Simon’s “El Condor Pasa (If I Could)”, itself the cover of a Peruvian folk song.  The song features vocals, acoustic guitar, and a choral piano-line.  It’s a beautiful closing on a well-conceived set.  If Georgie James’ album is half as good as this single, we’re in for a treat.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/georgie-james-need-your-needs/