Over the last year or so Brummie singer/songwriter/keyboardist REUBEN JAMES has won acclaim with a series of super singles that offered his spin on contemporary soul. First there was ‘Closer’ which was   followed by the  equally lovely, ‘You Mean The World’ and ‘Love Stoned’ and then ‘Champagne Kisses’. The last three of those singles, we were told, were taken from an “upcoming” album. Well said long player – named for ‘Champagne Kisses’ finally wins release, this Friday, 23rd June and our previews reveal that the 10 tracker delivers all the promise of those singles. Mind you any sensible listener would have expected that to be the case. You see, Reuben’s no parvenu. He already has quite a CV. He’s worked with Sam Smith’s on his 4 million-selling album ‘The Thrill of it All’, co-writing some of the songs; he’s since written for and performed with the likes of Tori Kelly, Little Mix, Disclosure, Col3trane and Liam Payne to name a few. So, little wonder that the ‘Champagne Kisses’ album is masterfully crafted, totally contemporary and, yes, soulful with a subtle jazz undertow.

The album features quite a guest list (says a lot about Reuben’s status in the music world). Helping our man to deliver are people like Ric Wilson, Joel Culpepper, CARRTOONS, Braxton Cook and Roy Ayers and I guess old soulies will want to know about the vibes man’s input. He features on the album’s closing track, ‘Satisfaction’ and it’s a percussive groove with a subtle vibraphone underpinning Reuben’s falsetto. It’s more of a jam than a “proper song” , if you see what I mean.

Elsewhere, the three album-heralding singles have lost none of their charms. Then there’s ‘This Could Be’ and ‘Do To Me’ which are both dreamy ballads,  the more urgent ‘The Sun Gies Down’ and a  beguiling, pleading ‘Timed Will Tell’.

Reuben’s  ‘Champagne Kisses’ album is out 23rd June via Reuben’s own Rufio Records. To promote the release he’ll be embarking on a six date UK tour which kicks off in Bristol on October 31st before travelling to Birmingham, Leeds, Brighton, Manchester and London. The UK concerts are part of an extensive European tour which will include shows in France, Denmark, Belgium, Holland and Germany. Learn more @