James Morrison – Undiscovered / 2007 Interscope / 11 Tracks / http://www.jamesmorrisonmusic.com / http://www.interscope.com / Reviewed 11 March 2007
James Morrison plays a style of feel-good pop-rock that has ties to artists such as John Maher and Jack Johnson; the title track derivates from that formula only when ey adds a very psychedelic meets Counting Crows type of organ to the mix. The large role that the bass has in the disc’s opening track “Under The Influence” provides a funkier sound to Morrison than “Undiscovered” did. At both points, the marketability and pop stylings of the artist shine through. Before Morrison gets to the chorus, the soulful crooning of eir gets to a point that one can actually hints of early Michael Jackson. This influence is brief, but it is nice to hear that Morrison’s influences are easy to derive.
“You Give Me Something” feels much more like a single than any other track on the disc from its opening strains; in this track, there are nods both to Robbie Williams and Brian McKnight, even as the outward sound still approaches that of a John Maher. “Wonderful World” is the next track on “Undiscovered”, and has Morrison start with a much more sedate sound than other tracks before catching everyone unaware with another one of eir catchy choruses. It s during “The Pieces Don’t Fit Anymore” where the momentum that Morrison created goes down to virtually 0, with only the swinging sound of the instrumentation on the track able to keep individuals listening in. As with most of the other tracks on the disc, Morrison does a snowball type of thing that gets faster and more encompassing as the track goes on.
“The Pieces Don’t Fit Anymore” thus is a track that is a blend of “They Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore’-era Elton John with slow-dance songs, and while it paints Morrison in a different light, it is not a weakness on this album. The only thing that holds back “Undiscovered” from being a completely successful album is that Morrison does not break free from the same bag of influences much during the 11 tracks on this album. If this happened more often, chances would be good that the resulting album would be much more strong. Still, for individuals that are looking for a solid pop musician, James Morrison should be that individual. Hopefully subsequent albums will allow eir to spread eir wings and come up with new and different types of albums. Give it a listen and decide for yourself.
Top Tracks: One Last Chance, Call The Police