Follow Us on Twitter

James Morrison - Songs For You, Truths For Me

James Morrison, Songs For You, Truths For Me

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

JAMES Morrison is a singer/songwriter who clearly splits opinion. There are those who can’t stand him and have duly slated his latest album. But others believe he’s a better option than James Blunt, and capable of emulating the songwriting exploits of the likes of Chris Martin.

Following the overwhelming success of his debut album, Morrison was always faced with a tall order to live up to expectation from fans. He’s largely succeeded with Songs For You, Truths For Me – a collection of 12 songs whittled down from the 70 he reportedly wrote.

It owes more to the earnest style of James Blunt than the pure, often magical universal accessibility of Coldplay, but there’s certainly plenty of charisma, lots of emotion, and even a decent collaboration.

Morrison is defined by his husky set of vocals (that occasionally sound like Rod Stewart, especially on album opener The Only Night), but is clever enough to adapt his style so that few songs sound the same. He also persists in keeping things more upbeat than songwriters such as Blunt, couching his sentiment in songs that are capable of being enjoyed.

Evidence of this is particularly apparent on Broken Strings, a duet with Nelly Furtado that rates among the highlights and is certain to become a single. It’s upbeat, contains a strong chorus (reminiscent of Bryan Adams and Melanie C) and slow-builds into a suitably rousing pop record.

Former single You Make It Real is romantic without being cloyingly so, even though some of the sentiment is pretty basic (“there’s so much craziness surrounding me”), while Save Yourself is a ’60s-infused soul number that cuts a suitably confident strut, complete with stabs of brass and swirling strings.

The swirling piano loops provide a nicely emotive backdrop to the moody Please Don’t Stop The Rain, while there are some snappy, soulful organs to lend extra zip to break-up anthem Nothing Ever Hurt Like You, which finds Morrison attempting to channel the smooth style of Cee-Lo or Bryn Christopher (quite successfully).

If You Don’t Wanna Love Me is another assured ballad, delivered in a classic, Otis Redding style that marks another success for Morrison, while Dream On Hayley is another charmer and final track Love Is Hard, a dusky, folky number that’s rife with social observation, ends things on a high.

Just occasionally, Morrison is caught trying too hard, such as Once When I Was Little, one of the most personal songs on the long-player, but given the overall quality, he just about gets away with it.

Songs For You, Truths For Me is therefore a pretty decent second coming that – for once – is probably deserving of the mammoth record sales it will probably generate.

Download picks: Save Yourself, Broken Strings, Nothing Ever Hurt Like You, Dream On Hayley, Love Is Hard

Track listing:

  1. The Only Night
  2. Save Yourself
  3. You Make It Real
  4. Please Don’t Stop The Rain
  5. Broken Strings
  6. Nothing Ever Hurt Like You
  7. Once When I Was Little
  8. Precious Love
  9. If You Don’t Wanna Love Me
  10. Fix The World Up For You
  11. Dream On Hayley
  12. Love Is Hard

  1. I love this album… who’d have thought an indie reviewer would have too? Sorry, been reading the Will Young comments….

    Vicky    Oct 8    #