On the heels of his 2012 full-length debut and right before his vocal ensemble, Vive, releases their new EP in February 2013, songwriter and arranger James Rose brings his own next step with, All That You Are. Vive collaborator and fellow arranger, Sam Robson, helped with mixing duties on the project and unlike James’s debut, this EP is primarily original material.
The title track is pop with a R&B sensibility while considering what it takes to be the man he wishes to be in the world. It’s a lyrical theme throughout the EP. On “What We Need”, Rose introduces electric piano as a “solo” instrument with a vocal bed. While the piano’s sound is a bit hot in the mix with the vocals, the overall effect is solid. The piano becomes acoustic and works better in coloring the mix with the following track, “Dreams”. The battle of good versus evil takes lyrical center stage in the song, “The Vision”, and while the vocal percussion is effective, I do wonder how much more the song would have been impacted if some acoustic hand drums were allowed to accent rhythms. Rose then moves into glitch and step music with soaring harmonies on “The Lighthouse”. The EP ends with a performance of the spiritual, “Honor, Honor” as performed by the international male quartet, Accent and arranged by Rose. While Rose holds down the baritone, Jean-Baptiste Craipeau is on Soprano, Sam Robson does Alto, Danny Fong and Andrew Kesler are on Tenor 1 & 2 respectively, and Evan Sanders holds down the bass notes. All That You Are is an engaging and fun project that will be infused in my roadtrip mixes right away.