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4.5 out of 5 stars
Post Tropical
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
What is going on here? The last time we heard from one of Ireland's finest James Vincent McMorrow it was on 2010's "Early in the Morning" where the Dublin troubadour had done a "Bon Iver" and retreated to a remote cottage albeit on the Irish coast to pour out his heart.. It was a very nice album not least the haunting "From the woods" but it didn't quite set him apart from a range of artists who ploughed the sensitive singer songwriter folk rock furrow, It seems that on this new album that McMorrow is determined to address this and come forward with a radically new offer to the listener which attempts to re-calibrate his music. "Post Tropical" owes greater debts to Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, James Blake and latter Justin Vernon than it does Van Morrison & Damien Rice and it is to McMorrow's credit that he has taken this bold stride. Even more laudable is the fact that it works, indeed at its best there are moments of icy beauty on this album which tug on the emotions so hard that they produce genuine warmth. The splendid striking opener "Cavalier" is a completely enchanting song with a great vocal. Certainly it does have more than a hint of James Blake but whereas the latter tends to over complicate McMorrow has produced a silky smooth soul anthem which could equally soundtrack love affairs and broken hearts. He matches it later with the pulsating "Red Dust" where he sings longingly "Sometimes my hands they don't feel like my own, I need someone to love, I need someone to hold". Again this is a kind of songwriting nearer to N.E.R.D than Neil Young but if it is of this quality who cares? Likewise the old Bon Iver influences still leach through not least on "Gold" but its very well done.

Other highlights include the poignant soul ballad "Glacier" which could give John Legend a hit should he be wise enough to cover it, and the plaintive yet gorgeous "Outside digging" which rounds off the album in style. If there is a small criticism perhaps on times the icy sweetness does become overwhelming although to be fair the title track does have an inner hard edge. But this picking holes when in fact the album is a very strong and coherent set of songs. It is noted that the Irish Times has already declared this "the album of the year" so early in 2014. This is a little bit like the Latvian European Song Contest Jury giving the Lithuania song 10 points. In short its a bit early to pass such judgements and the competition will be fierce. Nevertheless "Post Tropical" is a a fine sleek soul album from a brave artist turning his back on previous works and his own fan expectations upside down. Let us hope that he is richly rewarded for his ambition and boldness.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 15 June 2014
I loved the first James Vincent McMorrow album but I just don't get the same buzz with this album. I got hold of the first one at the same time as something from the Fleet Foxes and also Ben Howard and they all seemed to compliment each other. This album doesn't seem to match up to the first one but maybe it's just me.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2014
I read somewhere this is supposed to be heavily influenced by hip-hop / R&B - WRONG!

THIS ALBUM COULD NOT BE FURTHER AWAY IN STYLE, SOUND, RHYTHM OR BEAT FROM EITHER HIP-HOP OR R&B - so do not let that misinformation put you off getting this. If you liked his previous album - you'll likely love this as I do.

On the second listen I can already tell this is another fantastic album from James which will 'keep on giving' for many listens to come and then to come back to like a treasured old friend in times of need.

Very laid back & relaxing with just enough tint of darkness to prevent any whiff of cheese spoiling the mood, which is deep and contemplative, comforting and gentle: S P A C I O U S !

This guy has a propensity for ORIGINALITY and quality - an excellent follow up to his debut album 'Early In The Morning' which has already become one of my 'classic albums' in my collection.

A WONDERFUL NEW TALENT!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2014
I absolutely loved his first album so perhaps this one could never quite live up to it but saying that, it's still really good and having seen him perform songs from it live made listening to it again after the live show feel like a new experience. This man's got talent in spades and ain't afraid to use it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2014
a nice departure from the first album - comparisons with James Blake are fair. But the voice is sublime, even if the tunes are a little less of a hook. 'Cavalier' is the standout track.
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on 19 July 2015
Really disappointing follow-up to his excellent first album. Seems to have ditched the range of tunes & range of his voice and opted for mostly just hushed & high-pitched. I still love the first album and was hoping for so much more. I even think the cover of this second album is rather naff: looks like something out of the 1980's.
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on 30 January 2014
love this album the more I hear it. A great follow up to early in the morning same smooth falsetto tones with a more electronic sound.
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on 20 January 2014
Takes a bit more listening to than the first C.D. An artist Certainly to watch and if you like "Bon Iver" you'll like this
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on 12 December 2014
Brilliant Album (Ethereal & soulful voice) , by lesser known artist .
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on 16 November 2014
Mellow, chilled out, slightly melancholic. Right up my street!
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