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James Morrison
Undiscovered
Polydor Records
www.jamesmorrisonmusic.com


Admit it, you don't really like James Blunt. You want to like him, since everybody seems to love that song about him seeing his mildly pretty girlfriend when he was stoned, and you listen to him in hopes of one day seeing the appeal, but you don't get it. He's unattractive, has a bad voice, his lyrics don't make sense…well, good news. There's a new soulful, accented James on the block, and his CD is better than I really want to admit.

For the past couple of months, all I've been reading has been rave reviews of James Morrison (and no, there is no relation to the Jim Morrison of Doors fame). And I was like "yeah, yeah, next big thing, blah blah…" But when I popped his CD in my computer, I was really shocked. James Morrison is Stevie Wonder, Howie Day, Jason Mraz, Jamie Cullum and every bad, bad guilty pleasure of a 1990's boy band wrapped up in a mildly attractive (but in an awkward John Krasinski way) body. Hell, he even sounds like Evan And Jaron (remember how great "Crazy For This Girl" was? What happened to them?) on "The Pieces Don't Fit Anymore."

James Morrison might have Natasha Bedingfield writing his songs - "I'm not lost, I'm just undiscovered" - "I'm unwritten" - Does anyone else here see the comparison? If she doesn't have a hand in writing his lyrics, then they should marry and have really confused children. And to go along with the British woman theme, if Joss Stone got a sex change, she'd be James Morrison, too... husky, raspy voice translated perfectly. On "If The Rain Must Fall," Morrison sounds so passionate, I want to namedrop Jeff Buckley gone soul just to imply his delivery alone. I don't want to love him so much, but I'm finding that I do.

I'm not going to hide it. I love James Morrison in the same way I love every band I listened to in seventh grade. Even though his music is new to me, it's got some sense of nostalgia about it that makes me swoon in memories he wasn't even really part of. So go buy Undiscovered and fill up that lonely little spot on your iPod in the soul section between James Brown and Stevie Wonder. You can thank me later.

-Caitlin McGuire

Track Listing:
1. Under The Influence
2. You Give Me Something
3. Wonderful World
4. The Pieces Don't Fit Anymore
5. One Last Chance
6. Undiscovered
7. The Letter
8. Call The Police
9. This Boy
10. If The Rain Must Fall
11. The Last Goodbye


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