By 1993, James were already established with a string of successful UK singles on their four previous album. But with the release of Laid, they managed to crack wide open United States college and mainstream radio playlists with the quirky and catchy title track. However, like so many albums released in the 90s, a hit single does not always represent the sound of the band overall. While James had their fair share of uptempo tunes, including the New Order-esque Say Something from the same album, with the help of our Patreon patron Patrick (of Three Bines Hopped Spirits) who picked the album, we discovered a moodier, more melancholy sound, driven by bass and atmospheric guitars. While some of that credit is probably due to legendary musician/producer Brian Eno, the band themselves unveil a unique combination of post-punk edge, folk storytelling, Madchester bounce and Brit-pop swagger. It all makes for a listen that bares repeated listens to discover the layers, which also reveal some deficiencies that grew over time.