May 12, 2014

ALBUM REVIEW: James Vincent Mc Morrow - Post Tropical

Lately, I haven't been able to get enough of James' Vincent Mc Morrow's newest album - Post Tropical. As a long-term fan of mr. Mc Morrow and his spine-tingling falsetto, Post Tropical is the perfect blend of raw vocal performances, electronic keys, and a seriously good mix of R&B, folk and islander inspired beats. 

I can't help but compare this album to something that Sufjan Stevens, Keaton Henson and Bon Iver's Justin Vernon would dream up, mixing soft vocals with instrumental interludes, and each track showcasing a different vibe. (but seriously though, how fantastic would an album be if those three worked together? Pretty damn rad I would think).

The opening song of the album - Cavalier, was released as a single before the album late last year, and pretty much made me weak at the knees before the album had been released. It opens with Mc Morrow's soft vocals, and a backdrop of dreamy chords on an electric keyboard. Instantly drawing in the listener by the raw-ness of it all, Mc Morrow's falsetto hits new heights (like seriously high-pitched) before taking off into a large instrumental piece. The rest of the tune falls pretty much in suit, with waves of beautiful vocals, soft chords and instrumental interludes showcasing an organ-sounding keyboard.   

The next couple of tracks contrast with Cavalier perfectly, using a similar framework of electronic sounds and breathy falsetto vocals; that is, until you reach the fourth track fittingly titled 'gold'. I say fittingly, because I can only ever visualise a royal fanfare playing throughout this tune. It may be the use of brass and other wind instruments or the true richness of it all, flooding my mind with images of royals, Narnia, and castles. 

The title track 'Post Tropical' is another standout track of the album, with its catchy verses, beautiful lyrics and orchestral sounding instrumentation. 

Throughout the album, Mc Morrow uses some true-to-title sounds, with islander/hawaiian tropical sounding rifs and slidey notes all over the place. The beautifully raw and delicate vocals are definitely the standout of the album, making it one of those amazing albums that transport you to a complete different place. 

Warning: whilst listening to this album you may forget that you're sitting on the bus, grooving along with your eyes closed, and providing entertainment for everyone else's ride home. 

RATING: 8/10

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