sun 08/12/2019

CD: Rae Morris - Someone Out There | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Rae Morris - Someone Out There

CD: Rae Morris - Someone Out There

Rising Lancashire pop hopeful has enough personality to break through predictable presentation

Dressed for church

Rae Morris, a singer from Blackpool, has shinned up the slippery pop biz tree the modern, major label, mainstream way; ultra-managed, co-writes with Clean Bandit, support slots with George Ezra and Tom Odell, vocal collaborations with Bombay Bicycle Club, slow careful “development”. It’s plain old vocational training, really. In terms of raw, gutter-to-the-stars excitement, her career emanates the dizzy appeal of a dentist’s apprenticeship in Dorking. It is to her credit, then, that a good helping of actual character escapes onto her second album, alongside a few decent songs and one absolute peach.

Of course, as is de rigeur for 90 per cent of girl-pop stars, rising or full-blown, she’s assisted by an armada of technician-songwriter sorts – Fryars, Ariel Rechtshaid, My Riot, Fred Gibson, Buddy Ross and Starsmith. Who knows how much of the act of creation is hers? At a guess, quite a bit, for the lyrics seem to come from the heart, at their best, pithy and pragmatic but also – and this is great in 2018 – romantically inclined rather than merely going on and on about the physical act of sex as her main desire and selling point.

“Someone Out There”, for instance, is a cute piano ballad, with a heart-warming old-fashioned Hollywood quality, but she’s equally capable of snappy modern wordage, such as on the marching love song “Wait For The Rain” where she announces, “Buy me a drink, man/Bring it over here/I don’t want no ice/I’m already cold enough now”. There’s some jolly calypso pop aboard in “Atletico” and “Dip My Toe”, and closing number “Dancing With Character” is a lush likeable thing, but the outstanding cut is the single “Do It” which is cool, catchy, joyful, hopeful pop with a video that's pleasingly down-to-earth. After a couple of listens, it takes permanent residence in the brain.

Someone Out There is more electronic than Morris’s 2015 Top 10 debut album, Unguarded, yet she usually pierces any plasticity and injects a thoughtful, fizzing dose of individuality into it. When she has total control of the means of production, she'll be force to be reckoned with.

The lyrics seem to come from the heart, at their best, pithy and pragmatic but also – and this is great in 2018 – romantically inclined


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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