Pop and Soul, with a Ghostly Moan
James Morrison's debut album Undiscovered made him a star in his native U.K. last summer, and the disc's release here portends similarly big things: Mixing the smoky soul of Terence Trent D'Arby with the catchy crooning of James Blunt, the 22-year-old is nothing if not commercially viable. At times, Undiscovered falls back on agreeable but conventional neo-soul, but on "The Pieces Don't Fit Anymore," Morrison seizes on a hauntingly snaky hook that burrows under the skin.
The ghostly moan that runs through "The Pieces Don't Fit Anymore" immediately brings to mind the work of Antony (of Antony & The Johnsons), whose androgynous voice has graced what seem like dozens of albums in the last few years. Running through the track as if it were a looped keyboard hook, Morrison's backing vocal provides a nice counterpoint to his showier lead, on which he passionately mourns a love gone wrong. Musically, he's not reinventing anything here, but he's crafted a smoky winner with enough pop potential to make him more than just the English singing sensation du jour.
Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'
Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.