James Morrison: The Awakening

James Morrison’s third album, The Awakening, is off to a successful start. The CD is an extension of Morrison’s old work, mostly acoustic love songs, but with a few added experimentations. The Awakening is full of melodic guitar leads, intricate layers and soothing vocals.

The opening track sets the mood for the rest of the album with its cathartic lyrics and overall relaxing effect. “In My Dreams” portrays the high range of Morrison’s vocals. His voice is further accentuated with the use of funk rock sounds and retro melodies. The second track, “6 weeks,” extends these characteristics while incorporating additional aspects. With the ringing sounds of piano and a background chorus, the song is provided with a powerful impact. Not to mention the added vocals make this track quite catchy.

“Up,” the fourth track on The Awakening, is also significant for its own unique reasons. For this composition, Morrison teamed up with fellow English-singer Jessie Jo to create an eerie love song. The rhythmic instrumentals establish emotions of longing and frustration. Both Jo and Morrison’s voices are incredibly strong and seem to be perfectly compatible.

This is not to say the entire album is acoustic and easy-listening. It does include some more fast-paced tracks, specifically “Beautiful Life” and “Forever.” These tracks are less emotional and more optimistic, with a sound that resembles a Maroon 5 single. This is made possible by their eccentric melodies and funky rhythms.

Overall, James Morrison’s The Awakening is highly similar to his other albums. It is primarily constructed of love songs, soft tunes and passionate vocals. However, the CD also contains some added twists, such as some collaboration and a couple more upbeat tracks. Morrison has managed to do something artists strive for. He has stayed true to his original sound while still allowing room for change and experimentation.

In A Word: Tranquil