PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.

Rudimental - "Sun Comes Up" feat. James Arthur (Singles Going Steady)

Arthur's laid-back vocal style here is what drives the song from forgettable territory into "I wouldn't turn it off if I heard it on the radio."

Mike Schiller: This is a fine way to continue on with the ridiculous success of James Arthur's own "Say You Won't Let Go", though it's not nearly as catchy as that massive pop hit. The "Stripped Version" linked here is most certainly the preferred way to listen to the song, concentrating on Arthur's appealing voice rather than Rudimental's beats and synth work -- Arthur's laid-back vocal style here is what drives the song from forgettable territory into "I wouldn't turn it off if I heard it on the radio." Simple, relaxed, and direct is a valid approach even if its results aren't particularly memorable. [6/10]

Chris Ingalls: The unplugged vibe is nice and provides welcome warmth and an organic simplicity that you don't hear enough in mainstream pop. James Arthur's voice has a quality that's both soothing and urgent, but there's a bit too much dramatic "oversinging" going on as well. Mostly enjoyable but overstays its welcome a wee bit, even after a little more than three minutes. [7/10]

Steve Horowitz: James Arthur has a terrific way of expressing himself. While the song's concerns are vague, he makes the listener feel as if one understands the trials and tribulations the singer has experienced. The other performers understand how to properly compliment his voice by adding just the right accents -- whether percussive, rhythmic, or harmonic. There is nothing new here, but that's kind of the point. Life and healing go on. Arthur reaffirms one's faith in the sun that continues to rise every morning. All hail new beginnings! [8/10]

Ian Rushbury: “Sun Comes Up” is a pleasant tune, sung quite well. It trots along at mid-tempo and time passes. When it stops, if you can remember any of it, apart from the minimal hookline in the chorus, then you’re a better man than I. Unremarkable, but unremarkable in a way that’ll probably get a zillion hits on YouTube, 30 minutes after release. [4/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: On the one hand, James Arthur has a good voice, and Rudimental’s acoustic version of “Sun Comes Up” is soulful and heartfelt. On the other hand, there’s nothing new happening here, and both versions of the song sound like a song you’d get confused with every other song on mainstream radio in the mid-to-late 2000s. This is an enjoyable track to bop along to, but it’s forgettable even in this marginally more striking, stripped down form. [5/10]

Tristan Kneschke: Rudimental’s catalogue is heavily informed by drum n’ bass, a style that originated in their native England. Propelled by a variety of vocal talent, their work ranges from high-octane breakbeats (“Not Giving In”, “Waiting All Night”) to slow soulful jams (“Free”, “Common Emotion”). But your reaction to “Sun Comes Up”, mumbled by pouty pretty boy James Arthur, will depend on whether you consider Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” the sonic equivalent of waterboarding (Rudimental has already worked with Sheeran twice). It’s a problem when backup singers are the best element of a track. Perfect for your kid sister’s sweet 16. [3/10]

Paul Carr: What begins as a pleasant enough seaside strum with acoustic guitars and an inoffensive calypso beat soon gets smothered with a bland modern pop sheen that sucks any originality out of it. Arthur’s voice, while functional, lacks real character and the occasional yelps and shrieks in the background sound like a man who has accidentally brought up his zipper a little too quickly. It’s a light summer tune devoid of any real substance which only manages to resonate with the resounding thud of inanity. [4/10]

A Noah Harrison: When the video begins, James Arthur perplexingly sings into a microphone somehow rigged in the middle of a prairie at dusk, surrounded by a group of attractive, silhouetted backup singers we’re not meant to care about, and everyone bobs their head a little ‘cause they’re all feeling it -- that meeting of light Auto-Tuned vox and light acoustic strummage, and I’ll be honest I’m not familiar with Rudimental, but RateYourMusic lists them as “drum and bass”, “liquid funk (?)” and “deep house,” and none of those this is -- not even close, so this supposed Rudimental song featuring James Arthur might as well be credited in reverse, and that’s not to glamorize Arthur, whose voice sounds affected and occasionally enters that kind of strained, impassioned, diet-grunge mode, and though it’s hard to deny the hook, goddamn, songs like these are why they came up with “adult contemporary”. [2/10]

Chris Thiessen: A catchy upbeat summer collaboration from the drum and bass group and the deeper-voiced, mumblier version of Ed Sheeran. The stripped version, however, lacks some of the energy of the studio cut which benefits from a fuller array of synths, steel drums, and marimba. [6/10]

SCORE: 5.00

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.





Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.


15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.


Sixteen Years Later Wayne Payne Follows Up His Debut

Waylon Payne details a journey from addiction to redemption on Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, his first album since his 2004 debut.


Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.


Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.


Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.


Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.


The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.


British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.


Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.


​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.


The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.


Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.


How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.


Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.


CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.


Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.


While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.