James Morrison
Undiscovered
(Polydor)
The young Brit comes by his rasp honestly. A childhood bout of whooping cough left him with special powers to convey longing. A first encounter might leave you saying, “Wow, Terence Trent D’arby must have been listening to a lot of ’70s Stevie Wonder, and learning.” Morrison gives urgency to what are mostly love songs. A dramatic ramble in the deep end of the piano begins the opener “Under the Influence.” On “One Last Chance,” the will to avert personal ruin takes on epic proportions. For soul devotees, the recent revival creates a sense of panning for gold at high tide. With this amazing debut, the UK adds new quality to what was, at its best, an American music.
Doug Taylor

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