Wednesday, March 30, 2011

James Vincent McMorrow - Early in the Morning

When I got really inspired at the beginning of the year and thought I might get really going writing about music again, I was really blown away by a couple of albums. And now that I'm not looking so hard for new music, it's become increasingly rare for me to come across something that I feel like is really worth sharing. Also, I'm feeling more and more like it's not really worth the time to type out a review that sounds something like "meh, pretty good... I guess". That, and the Beiber fever I've caught is severely influencing my taste in music.

Having said all that and based on the title of the post, you may have guessed that Irish singer/songwriter James Vincent McMorrow's Early in the Morning has really jumped out at me. Despite sounding a striking amount like John Mayer on a couple of tracks (meaning, if I ever hear anything he does on the radio I'll immediately delete this post and deny ever endorsing this album), McMorrow does a fine job of straddling the line between emotive and melodic without getting overly schmaltzy (with the exception of the John Mayeresque stretches). At his most melodic and commercial McMorrow sounds like some type of Mayer/Bon Iver/Ray LaMontagne hybrid e.g. "If I Had A Boat" and on "We Don't Eat".

As the album progresses, McMorrow morphs into more of a Bon Iver/one man Fleet Foxes sort of routine... and the switch is sort of remarkable. To the outside observer (me, for example), it almost appears as though there was some type of intervention where somebody convinced him to make the record more marketable and wrote a few hooks for him, or showed him the list of a-listers John Mayer slept with. If you've decided your anti-John Mayer -- and it's not a ton of John Mayer -- then you'll want to start downloading on iTunes at "This Old Dark Machine".

Either way, a great album that's well worth listening to.