Album Review: Morganway – Morganway

morganwayMorganway – Morganway

Americana

66%

The trouble with drawing influence from the greats is that you leave yourself some pretty big shoes to fill. Especially when seeking inspiration from bands like Fleetwood Mac who carry the kind of rare and precious universal appeal that is exceedingly difficult to capture. Against the odds though, there are a few flashes of brilliance where this East Anglian ensemble do just that. What’s more impressive is how they manage to put their own spin on it with the superb fiddle adding traditional folk vibes into the mix.

Slow burning centrepiece ‘Frozen In Our Time’ immediately strikes me as the album’s highlight. The way it builds all the way from its eerie opening moments, through soaring and triumphant vocals, into cinematic strings, cathartic bursts of guitar and an impactful choral arrangement is simply mesmerising. At the opposite end of the spectrum the uplifting ‘I See People’ simply resonates with positive energy with bright harmonies that feel like the clouds parting to announce the arrival of a bright new day.

As great as the harmonies are, some of the record’s most memorable tracks are those where SJ Mortimer’s voice has its time to shine. Tracks like ‘Let Me Go’ and ‘Hurricane’ showcase the band’s wild side, with Mortimer’s fiery and passionate vocals injecting a fierce live energy. However these brilliant standout moments also make the filler tracks all the more noticeable. While nothing outside of the somewhat irksome ‘London Life’ can be said to really hit a nerve, there are a handful of forgettable tracks that either feel a bit too polished or just simply lack the same magic found elsewhere. Thankfully you don’t have to score a goal with every shot you take in order to emerge a winner. There are plenty of moments where all the band members work in perfect synergy to craft something special, which is more than enough to make Morganway a real one to watch in the near future.

 

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