Kalu James

The Offering: Flesh

Texas Platters

Tough to tell where Kalu James culls his choruses, but there's something about "Dreams aren't meant to be easy/ It's that ever-elusive lady/ Kill the thing that you love and you will stop dreaming," as sung on "Visioneers," that feels smothered in smoked gouda. The Nigerian-born tenor transplant has strummed vapid singer-songwriting fare since 2006's The Way I Feel instructed fans to "Listen to the wind and everything around you, baby," providing little variation in between (check the verses on 2008's Dim the Lights). The Offering: Flesh, his third disc, progresses no further, serving just a few highlights – the Wild Child-y "ba-da-ba-dada-ba" on "What Happened to Those Days," the subtle horns behind "The World Needs You," the harder charge throughout "Dark Days" – amidst a sea of half-baked lyrics. "I'm a soldier, soldier of your love," he sings on album closer "Fields of Lavender." "But I'm wounded, and now I have hate." Oof.

*.5

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