Reminiscent of Sarah McLachlan scrambled in with Norah Jones, Sarah Morris possesses a beautiful voice. There’s no real showboating though she does hit her high notes with brilliance. There’s no signature sound yet — that stands out apart in a crowded field. She doesn’t have the growl of Janis Joplin, a bewitching sound of Stevie Nicks, or the rural angst of Emmylou Harris. But…Sarah soars with ease at pivotal moments in her lyric & she shines. Her clever words are not cliché filled – she tells good descriptive stories.
“Stir Me Up,” is a few notches below the more aggressive Rolling Stones of “Start Me Up,” but Sarah has her own effectiveness in her showcase. “I lose my sense of direction when you put your lips on mine.” Very good.
The Minneapolis singer has been recording since 2011 – All Mine (Independent – drops Feb. 21st) is 11-tracks performed with poignancy & vibrancy. While Sarah hasn’t approached the deep end of Laura Nyro, she does have the potential in her creative fumes. Each song has interesting takes, cool singing sensitivity & bravado. What it lacks is grit, a challenge.
She’s not a Kate Bush wizard, nor does she have an Enya-aura. Not a rocker like Patti Smith or jazzy like Diana Krall. She doesn’t need to be. Sarah comfortably shapes her satisfying music to be intriguing, but it needs some fermentation.
Some songs are mindful of Jane Siberry – but, Sarah hasn’t yet written her “Love Is Everything,” (covered by k.d. lang). I know she has the potential – her writing suggests it.
Composer Randy Newman recorded many LPs with terrific songs, but it took “Short People,” to tweak the noses of society & more listened. I’m not suggesting Sarah get controversial, but she does need to dive deeper to poke the fish. “I’m a Wreck,” comes close.
She has excellent songs. Good contemporary material. Sarah’s voice & choice of words suggest a potential for whiskey, no chaser. It’s what separates a wonderful singer from an artist. Sarah is an artist.
The well-recorded LP is loaded with memorable little songs produced by Eric Blomquist. Striking melodies border on the beauty of the late Judee Sill but aren’t as heart-wrenching.
The wonderful “There, There,” with its old-world melody is impeccable. Sarah (guitar) is joined by Thomas Nordlund (acoustic & electric guitar), Andrew Foreman (acoustic & electric bass) & Lars-Erik Larson (drums, piano) with 10-additional side musicians.
Don’t misunderstand me – Sarah Morris is an exciting focused singer, but I believe she deserves to be edgier. The voice is there, so is the pen. It’s my belief the tunes today are playing it safe. Maybe that’s all they feel is necessary. Fortunately, there’s something here that will attract many – the music is penetrating – it just won’t make your eyes open wide & go Wow. It will come. I’m sure of it.
The 49-minute CD is available at Amazon.