Songs for You, Truths for Me James Morrison Polydor
THE Brits have a tradition of white raspers and, at 24, James Morrison displays more engaging vocal chops than most. Hopefully his pigeonhole as a future Joe Cocker won’t include losing his pleasantly geeky looks and weedy physique. On this follow- up to the million- selling Undiscovered , the full soul toy box is at his disposal: string and horn sections, massed voices, soaring organs, triumphant pianos, a polished band and a mix that shrugs off the daggy edges of the first album, with its echoes of the house orchestra on Parkinson . Though the overly inventive arrangements seem designed for those with the attention span of a ring tone, the lad from Rugby still manages to sound genuine. Too bad the audio has been overcooked at the mastering stage and its sonic clarity comes with a harsh sizzle that’s particularly irritating when played through good speakers. But the spirit of Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye informs Morrison’s phrasing and even on the trembling duet with Nelly Furtado he comes across as someone worth encouraging. May he not burn out.