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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 16 February 2012
Having been a fairly recent convert to James Morrison, and playing his first two albums to death, I was eagerly looking forward to this album.

I was a tiny bit disappointed at first, but most of the tracks really do grow on you. James is as heartfelt as ever, and my favourite tracks are 6 Weeks, I Won't Let You Go, One Life and All Around the World - this is one of the best last track I have heard for a while.

Definitely worth a listen, and a very good album.
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on 14 October 2011
Well, i have read the reviews on here and decided to listen to the album quite a few times before i wrote anything.

The album is stunning, simple as that. And any music fan will understand that. His voice is incredible in most of the songs and while i don;t think its the best album ever written, it certanly has 5-6 songs on there that he could release as a single.

The obvious won't let you go, is an instant classic......i would even dare to say one of the songs of the year. Absolute musical genious.

Loads of others, track 1, 3, 7, 11, 12, 13 all stand out for me as great great records.

Guys, as a matter of fact james Morrison is quite simply one of the best solo artists in the country at the moment and this album really does show off not only his voice but his musical ability.

I challenge anyone to name a singer at the moment to rival this guy's voice.

Enjoy the album, its brilliant.
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on 5 March 2014
Getting over heartbreak. This one is a killer. I can't bear to hear it or listen to the tracks. Purely personal view. I love James Morrison.
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on 26 September 2011
James Morrison may be considered as one of the U.K.'s premier soul talents, but the Warwickshire singer appears to have a bit of a downer on his career of late, having recently stated that he's "sung too many love ballads", and that he hated making his last album, Songs for You, Truths for Me, after being pressured by his former Polydor label to repeat the formula of his million-selling debut.

With several songs relating to his alcoholic father's death on his third effort, "The Awakening", the husky-voiced guitarist appears to have rectified one of his issues, but despite the presence of Suede's Bernard Butler as producer, it's difficult to hear how he's made any attempt to deal with the other.

Seemingly designed to make Radio 2 listeners hearts flutter, "I Won't Let You Go" follows the same heartfelt, acoustic, tearjerker template as his previous two lead singles; the toe-tapping Motown pastiches "Beautiful Life" and "Forever" show that Morrison's retro leanings are still very much apparent, while there's even a "Broken Strings"-style duet with Jessie J on the orchestral, midtempo "Up".

Pleasantly inoffensive and lushly produced as they are, they don't exactly live up to the radical reinvention that his rather dismissive comments indicated, and it's only on the funky R&B beats and Michael Jackson-esque chorus of "Slave to the Music", and the sparse, gospel-tinged blues of "Right by Your Side", where Morrison begins to show some of the invention that was allegedly so heavily restricted on his previous effort.

However, lyrically, he's never been better, with the heartbreaking themes of loss on "In My Dreams", "6 Weeks", and "Person I Should Have Been", the latter based on a poem inspired by the last conversation he had with his late father, more than fulfilling his ambitions of "wanting to go a bit deeper and find more substance".

But until Morrison manages to infuse some of this raw honesty and emotion into his sound, he's always going to struggle to create that one great record that his impassioned and soulful voice deserves. J. O'Brien
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on 10 October 2011
I have been a James Morrison fan ever since You Give Me Something. I've seen him perform 4 times, from Manchester Academy to V Festival in 2009 so to say i'm a massive fan of his would be a fair statement. As gifted and as talented as he is, this album doesn't do him any justice. The songs are too "samey" and only one or two of them are worthy of being released as a single.
Of course this review is only my opinion as are any of the reviews on this site but i thought i'd share my opinion without wearing my rose-tinted specs!
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on 25 January 2012
I am a fan of James Morrison, I have both of his previous albums BUT this album is special.It had me on a roller coaster ride of emotions. tracks 1,2,3,5,6-Just listen to him play the classical guitar)7,10,11,12,13 are fantastic, these are heartfelt emotional songs, just listen to the words. James Morrison is pouring his heart out to you, his thoughts, his love, his loss, his feelings, his hopes, his aspirations,his desires. This album is speaking to us all, just listen to his words, he has such a soulful voice. I LOVE,LOVE,LOVE this album!!
Buy this album you won't regret it.
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on 5 February 2012
Wow! The CD arrived 3 days ago and I can't seem to stop playing it - at work, in the car and on the way home. I got the album after hearing 'I won't let you go' and 'Up' on the radio which I quickly fell in love with. One of my top albums for the past year. Love the emotional lyrics. Thank you James Morrison, for sharing your emotions with us so beautifully through your music.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 April 2015
James Morrisons' first two albums are real favourites of mine, and his third, whilst not quite as playable for every occasion, is another solid release. 2011's 'The Awakening' contains some excellent songs, and a few that aren't of the same high standard. If you could, I would rate it 4.5 stars.

The young man's father had sadly passed away shortly before he recorded this, so many of the songs are very personal to him, and they frequently reference his dad. I have to say that it's mostly singles which virtually capture the best moments of this album. 'One Life' is a very inspiring song, with lyrics that encourage you to live you're life as you want to live it, and better advice has never been given. 'I Won't Let You Go' is an excellent love song, and the infectious, rhythmic, Michael Jackson-like 'Slave to the Music' should have set the charts on fire. Other favourites of mine which weren't issued as a singles include the confessional 'Person I Should Have Been', and the short but very sweet 'Beautiful Life', an uplifting feel-good number which once again has lyrics that really speak out to me.

'The Awakening' is for fans of the first two albums, but like I've already said, there are some forgettable tracks. If you're a fan of James' husky, Rod Stewart-like voice and soulful music though, you'll want to buy this one for the good stuff.

Please be aware that there is also a Deluxe edition available: Awakening [+Bonus Dvd], where you'll also get a bonus DVD which has the official music videos of 'Slave to the Music' and 'I Won't Let You Go', as well as 'Man Behind the Music', an insightful documentary mini-series.
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on 1 November 2011
I love JM and have all 3 albums, but this one is pretty dull as there are no upbeat songs on it like the other two albums. Yes, it's a good album, but after listening for an hour I need a little more contrast, finger clicking and foot tapping; it's just not present here.
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on 14 November 2011
I am a musician of 35 years and I know a little bit about singing and song writing and this album is the first genuine 'pop' album I've heard for a very long time! It's the best of Mr Morrison's three albums so far, mainly because of the production, it's as if someone's said let's do an authentic Motown style album with great musicians, 'proper' string arrangements and that earthiness that gave us that great soul sound in the 60's. There are only a few weaker 'album tracks' and quite a few very catchy 'singles' in there. Morrison's voice is on fine form, there are hints of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson and had he been around in the 60's he would have been right up there with the best. The first track In My Dreams reminds me of the Memphis sessions that Elvis did in the late 60's covering Dylan & Diamond songs and which produced songs like In The Ghetto, there's a real atmosphere to the recordings that sounds very intentional. The stonking Slave To The Music is the best 'pop' single I've heard since the early 2000's (how come so few people know how to make a dance track with a groove these days!} and there's a nice balance between up-tempo, mid-tempo and ballads. All the songs have something to say and there's 'hook after hook' to keep you singing along no matter how many times you play it. A great album by 'without doubt' a truly great singer!
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