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Review: Rae Morris – Unguarded

Anyone who has read my occasional submissions to altBlackpool will know that I have been following the career of Rae Morris since her very early days. The first time I heard her was at an open mic night in Scrooges on a wet and cold Tuesday night. It was her second ever live performance.

That seems so long ago now for the humble Blackpool songstress has just released her first solo album. This set of recordings represents a milestone in her musical journey which, on the face of it, looks like a sudden thrust into the limelight. After a year of very successful collaborations with Bombay Bicycle Club and Clean Bandit, appearing on the Glastonbury stage, releasing several EPs and having her music used to advertise TV programmes as well as featuring on soundtracks, it’s easy to miss how hard she has worked to get here.

Unguarded is a joy to listen to. I know what you’re thinking, ‘Of course you’re going to say that, you’re a massive fan.’ I’d be lying if I said you were wrong. But this isn’t an opinion based on admiration of the artist, this is my view based on the music.

The album has a very natural feel that holds its own. Quite often I listen to music and the influences smack you in the face. It’s hard to pin that kind of label on Rae; within one song you can pick out Kate Bush, Bat for Lashes and Ellie Goulding, yet nothing so obvious that you can truly say ‘she is the new…’ Her vocals have such a character that it can only be Rae Morris.

From the effortlessly wistful lullaby quality of the opening track, Skin, you are moved into the joyful bounce of her latest single, Under the Shadows. This movement of style and emotion continues throughout, all being held together with her wonderful voice. Even the song Cold, featuring Fryars, which I freely admit was not my favourite of her EP releases, now sounds great resting perfectly between the gentle sounds of the title track and the prayer for the unheard. Did You Ever Know.

The hooks in the songs dig deep and will have you singing them as you go about your daily business. The production is stunning and delivers a sound that I’m sure will be used to test high end Hi-Fi in demonstrations up and down the country. There is a familiarity to the sound that makes it easy to pick up and listen to and enough depth in the lyrics to have you connecting to them. The mix of all these elements delivers a very accessible album that is full of substance.

Give it a go, you will not regret it. I give it five stars.

Rae Morris will be appearing at HMV Blackpool on Wednesday 28 January 2015. To see her perform a purchase of the CD is required.

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  • Show Comments (1)

  • Steve Guest

    A lovely and genuine review of a local girl who has achieved her dream, which in turn will give much inspiration to the young local musicians starting out on their path. Rae is the perfect example of an artist who with dedication, hard work and belief, things finally and deservedly pay off. Rae is a credit to herself, her family and her town. Congratulations on a mesmerising piece of work.

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