Soaring, multi-octave vocals; dream-pop guitars; horn lines—when did these things become unfashionable? In these days of “Chasing Cars” and X&Y, it’s not unreasonable to wish every earnest, British crooner into a vacuum. Manchester’s James fits directly into the lineage that saw us arrive at Coldplay and Snow Patrol, but they—like U2—make those rock tropes work magic all over Seven. What’s more, vocalist Tim Booth adds something that Bono never could—he has a sense of humor about his own earnestness. In songs like the opening classic, “Born of Frustration,” Booth’s yodeling (there’s no other word for it, really) would never work if it weren’t delivered with his singular giddiness. James would reach their popular and artistic peak in 1993 with “Laid,” but Seven is the foundation for that song’s success—beautiful, funny and true. If Seven came out today, Grey’s Anatomy would be a better show.