James Cole isn’t looking for love tomorrow, and he isn’t interested in rehashing yesterday in “Type of Guy;” he wants the fairytale romance now, tonight, and he’s going to do whatever it takes to make his dreams a reality against the backdrop of an angelic beat and a flamboyant melody that is as telling of his sincerity as it is his devotion to bold songwriting. The grooves in this single have got a jitteriness to them, but there’s no anxious overstepping in Cole’s execution – he’s swaggering here, full of youthful vitality and ready to chase after a reckless rhythm with every ounce of charisma that he can muster. I was first introduced to James Cole with “Cali Queen,” the hit single he released earlier on in 2019 to critical acclaim, and though I liked what I heard in that song, it didn’t prepare me for the magic I would eventually encounter in this tenacious follow-up single. “Type of Guy” is a turning point for this artist and a song that belongs on every pop fanatic’s stereo this Friday, August 23rd.
I think that this track would make for a stunner of a live number. It’s both balladic and rhythmically strong enough to make us sway to the beat, from the subtle intro to the eruptive fireworks display that brings us into the finish line (which I can only imagine would be all the more theatrical in-person). James Cole wants us to feel the full scope of his skillset in “Type of Guy,” and rather than throwing his weight into one aspect of the music over another, he spreads out the catharsis and subsequently makes every second of this song feel like an emotional release. That’s something that many musicians have spent the better part of their lives trying to do, and this guy – at only 18 years old – is doing it like he’s been studying the art of human relationships for decades. He’s expressing himself with every tool that he’s got in the studio, but there’s nothing here to suggest that he couldn’t do the same thing on stage somewhere, regardless of the type of venue.
It’s hard to believe that I wasn’t listening to James Cole’s music just a year ago, but I’m very intrigued by what he’s got going with his work at the moment. The critics have fallen in love with his style of play, and though audiences are very right to be skeptical of anyone getting the kind of attention that he has been this summer, I can vouch that it’s definitely not without just cause. If “Type of Guy” was made for anyone particular purpose over another, it was probably conceived to show us just how far Cole can go with a big groove without sounding too experimental for mainstream acceptance, and in that respect, he hit this one out of the park. We’ll know more about what the future holds for his music after getting a glimpse at his first LP, but until then, this is the track in his catalog of recordings to acquire before all others.