The album is provisionally entitled 'Space'...

BRIAN ENO has granted NME.COM an exclusive preview of the new JAMES album, provisionally entitled 'SPACE'. Due out in the summer, the album, which ENO describes as "the best they've made", will feature 11 or 12 tracks, many of which were recorded virtually live.

"They're all complete takes," said Eno, "there's very few repairs done, hardly any overdubs. The whole idea was to try to make an album in what is actually a rather old-fashioned way: start with the songs written and properly structured, play them live and record them. It's very regressive in a way, saying, 'Let's go back to making a record that records a band at its peak.'"

More subtle than previous outings, but no less tuneful, tracks previewed to NME.COM included 'Space', 'Falling Down', 'Saving Grace', 'Give It Away', 'Coffee And Toast', 'Fine', 'Gaudi', 'Junkie' and 'The Shining', many of which were previewed on James' 2000 winter tour. The album, which had a previous working title of 'We Want Our Money Back', is expected to also feature a number of slower songs.

"They're like a band reborn somehow," said Eno. "It's like when people make their first album they're full of enthusiasm and excitement and they know what they're doing and it's a pleasure. This was like making a first album. I think it's the best record they've made. The standard is so high on every song. There's nothing where you think it could've been better. We've got too many good songs, more good songs than we can put on the record."

Eno also gave the thumbs up to his ex-Roxy Music bandmates, as they prepare to reform the band without Eno. He said: "I'm jubilant. I think it's fine that they're doing it, but I don't like the idea of doing something again. How can it not be compared to the past? It's not my thing. I'm happy that they're doing it and good for them, but it's not my thing."

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