James Vincent McMorrow - Post Tropical

McMorrow has shaken off the folk singer with a guitar tag.

Label: Believe

Rating:

Even the name ‘Post Tropical’ hints that the follow-up to the gentle folk laced beauty of James Vincent McMorrow’s debut ‘Early In The Morning’ will have an altogether different feel. This does nothing to prepare for what’s to come, though, as startling opener ‘Cavalier’ beguiles with its fusion of hand claps, gentle piano and sways of brass that take the listener into almost modern R&B territory. Equally stunning if not more so is ‘Repeating’ whose dramatic stops and starts help to create that slow building momentum which threatens to spill into overdrive but holds willingly back.

When there is so much craft and attention to detail it’s hard to pick out just a handful of tracks as each have their own merits. ‘Gold’ may only last three minutes but its orchestral sweeps give it an epic feel and the way in which the blurred lines between the verses and choruses is yet another sign of an artist prepared to step out of the constraints of formulaic songwriting. On ‘Glacier’, he takes us on an emotional journey from the musings of gentle frustration to the valley of complete desperation which culminates in the aching declaration ‘there’s no sense of hope, there’s no sense at all’, expressed with so much feeling that it’s almost like his heart is going to burst. From stripped-back guitar and lilting piano to a swirling cacophony of sound, it shows how much of a step forward these songs represent.

When you’ve had a degree of success with your debut it must be tempting to rush out a carbon copy but McMorrow has shaken off the folk singer with a guitar tag to give us an album pregnant with intrigue, creativity and diversity.
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