Last of the Tall Ships – Jimmy Lee Morris (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

a2510510319_16As I said last time around when the excellent Gallery dropped through the virtual letterbox about this time last year, artists like Jimmy Lee Morris are a breath of fresh air. He seems part of an ever diminishing body of songwriters who still revel in the song rather than the delivery, the substance rather than the style, which ironically makes for an effortless delivery and an eloquent musical style of the sort that only comes about as a by-product of the job at hand. The job at hand, of course, being writing great songs.

The title track is an interesting place to start as it takes a different tack than most of the songs found around it, having its genesis way back in 1985 as a synth driven demo track that changed hands between Nelson King and himself and never quite came to fruition. But then …voila! A mere 33 years later Jimmy has found the time to write the rest of the words and include it in this collection, a jaunty synth pop tune that feels as much a modern track referencing the past as it does a past track sonically revelling in its formative sound.

But it doesn’t sit at odds particularly with the rest of the album as, by the artists own admission, the album is slightly 80’s infused being a blend of the modern studio capability and the sound of the earthy analogue that flavoured his own recordings with bands, such as A La Tienne, that he was playing in all those years ago. “I  like to think this  is what we may have sounded like today if we had stuck around long enough to make an  album in 2018.”

Bigger Sky is a wonderful slice of Crowded House style infectious pop-rock, Something About You is a soulful and reflective confessional and Freestyle is a funky and groovesome dance number. Yes, its dance, anything that gets the feet moving and the hips swaying is dance music…genres are so last century.

It’s a cracker of an album, a collection of songs that tip their hat to the past, are perfect for the here and now and offer hope for a brighter future. What more could you ask for?

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