Undiscovered by James Morrison (2007)

14Feb11

The next time you hear someone older than you say something like “there’s no good music anymore, like there was back in my day”, please follow these simple steps:

1. Remember to respect your elders.
2. Remind them that they are old and out of touch with reality, so their opinion is of no value whatsoever.
3. Let them listen to Undiscovered by James Morrison.

This guy is incredible. He has one of the best singing voices I’ve ever heard, and he knows how to wrap a song around it that doesn’t bore you to death. In fact, I’m almost ready to include him in the very small fraternity of extremely talented white male singers along with George Michael, Freddie Mercury and Elton John. You may have a different opinion than I do here, but remember that the category is “singer” not “artist”. Think hard about it…there aren’t too many white guys in the history of music with a GREAT voice that also made GREAT songs. And don’t give me that Rat Pack bullshit…those are “performers”, not “singers”. Sure, you can throw a few other names out there for debate, but my point is that there are very few people in this category with genuine singing talent and the results to show for it. George/Freddie/Elton did it, and now James Morrison is doing it. Certainly it’s way too early in his young career to tell if he could ever have the impact of those musical giants, but the talent and ability is there. The music turtle is not afraid of a bold statement!

Undiscovered was Morrison’s debut album. He got a little bit of radio airplay right off the bat with ‘You Give Me Something’, a classic jam that will probably play in movies and at weddings for several years to come. Those who went out and bought this album after hearing that single were rewarded handsomely. The song had already given him popularity overseas, and although he didn’t dominate in the U.S., his record sales were good enough to keep the eyes of the music industry turned in his direction. Morrison clearly showed restraint in refusing to turn his talent into a worthless pop act on this album. He could have taken the easy way out by hooking up with Timbaland for some cheesy forgettable over-produced crap, but instead he delivered a mature record that stacks up with a higher level of artist. The easy comparison to make here is Stevie Wonder…Morrison’s voice is smooth and on key when the tempo and volume are low, but the real color arrives when he turns things up a notch. I don’t think the listener will fall in love with his music after just one listen, but over time it grows on you as you realize just how talented he is when compared to the rest of what’s out there. For you American Idol junkies (I know, sorry) he’s like a more polished version of Elliott Yamin, who in my opinion was the best singer ever on that show.

My favorite track on Undiscovered is ‘This Boy’, which sounds kinda autobiographical but overall it’s just good music. ‘Wonderful World’ is sorta cheesy but good, and one of the better cuts is the realizing-I’m-gonna-break-up-with-you-song ‘The Pieces Don’t Fit Anymore’. These songs are all oozing with potential…Morrison’s not going anywhere. He’s not relying on production or a backing band for his presence. Sure, he has his work cut out for him, as the general public doesn’t generally go running to their record store for up-and-coming soul-pop artists. But you can’t deny raw talent, and that’s what Morrison’s got.

music turtle recommends: GET IT WHILE IT’S HOT!

What do you think about this album? Comment below

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