Monday, October 10, 2011

Album Review: Ed Sheeran and James Morrison

Ed Sheeran - + (4/5). Stubbornly pretencious title aside, British singer/song-writer Ed Sheeran's first album is a commendable debut. On the surface it may seem like a lovelorn set brimming with the same acoustic guitar patterns over and over again, but fortunately, upon closer listens that isn't the case. Opening track and lead single "The A Team" is fantastic, backed with an awesome acoustic guitar melody, strings and Sheeran's subtle vocal--lyrically depicting a story about the trials and tribulations of a prostitute. Other tracks seem adhere to more beefy productions to balance out the albums otherwise acoustic tendencies. "Grade 8" showcases heavier underpinning beats, similar to second single "You Need Me." "The City" is quite interesting, as juxtaposes acoustic guitars, beat boxing and bursts of straddling electronic guitars. "U.N.I." showcases Sheeran's nackof rapid sing/rapping over quite tepid but still nice guitars and drums. "Lego House" sounds like a hit waiting to happen, It's the album's third single. Admittedly, the whole acoustic guitars and drums shtick does get a little repetitive--however if analysing lyrics is your thing, this shouldn't be a problem. Best: The A Team, You Need Me, Lego House, The City, U.N.I, Small Bump

James Morrison - The Awakening (3.5/5). Unfortunately, British singer James Morrison's last album Songs for You, Truths for Me was a bit of a miss for me. It lacked the solidarity and perhaps cohesiveness that his debut Undiscovered had. Fortunately, his third album is a little better--although the same problems seem to re-emerge. The opening number "In My Dreams" has a nice soulful old-school flair; subtle drums, guitar chords and orchestration, following track "6 Weeks" is similar with its soulful swagger. Tottering back into slightly more poppy territories is lead single "I Won't Let You Go" which took a little time to grow on me. In probably a desperate attempt to re-create "Broken Strings," fellow British singer Jessie J makes an appearance on the cold downbeat pop of "Up," It's a little different for her, it probably will be a single soon. The latter half of the album picks up the tempo, "Beautiful Life" and "Forever" clock in on the jaunty horns, piano chords and drums. Ultimately, The Awakening is a decent set but a little inconsistent and uneven. A classic 'pop' case of the first half being great and its latter half either a bore or a misfire. Best: In My Dreams, I Won't Let You Go, 6 Weeks, Up, Forever

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