Customer Reviews: The Awakening
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on January 14, 2012
Believing that he had "written too many love ballads", Morrison has produced a very interesting follow-up to his 2008 release. "The Awakening" at first will sound a bit strange for those who are familiar with his prevous work (as it did for me). Most of these songs are growers, they don't catch you the moment you hear them. In fact, the opener "In My Dreams" sounds almost shallow at first. But Morrison always manages to surprise us. The Michael Jackson inspried, upbeat single "Slave to the Music" and the highly personal, raw-sounding "Person I Should Have Been" are some of his best songs yet. Another highlight on the record is the harmonious duet with Jessie J, "Up", which to me is superior to his previous duet with Nelly Furtado. His usual gorgeous horn/guitar/vocal arrangements, on this record, come out slick and smooth and that just works. Sometimes, less is more. And yet, the soulful backing vocals on the guitar ballad "Right By Your Side", the stampede of drums on the title track and the catchy na-na-na's on "Beautiful Life" give his music a new personality, being qualities that have somehow are newfangled to his sound. Little by little, he shows us what he's after and in my opinion he suceeds. This is the real James Morrison.
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on May 1, 2013
James Morrison may share the same name as another legendary singer of decades past, but he stands in no one's shadow. No one could mistake James Morrison for any other artist, past or present. This young Brit put out an astonishingly good debut CD in 2007, followed that up with a solid sophmore effort in 2009 that delivered several memorable songs (and one instant classic that could make the dead dance: "Nothing Ever Hurt Like You") and in 2011 delivered this third CD, which demonstrates steady steps towards greatness. So many of us have been pushed to despair by music today- the endless deluge of mindless, formulaic, charts-driven crap. Morrison doesn't seem to be composing (yes, he writes all his own music) according to standard chart-success algorithms that seem to have enslaved most "performers" on the scene these days. As in the case of Adele, Morrison's music completely defies those compulsory formats imposed by radio stations and the charts today, and it soars to unheard-of heights precisely because of that defiance. And because of that voice, one that seems to reach down into your soul and pluck every string. Like Adele, his music influences as a kid came from what surrounded him. In this case, that being his parents' collection of soul, folk, blues and country. Morrison, like Adele, is an original, not some version of someone else. It's that eclectic mix of old school music from his childhood, channeled now through his own modern sensibilities, that makes his music so astonishingly distinctive and irresistible. And it's that old soul in him that speaks through lyrics of remarkable power and elegant simplicity that pull you even deeper into every song. Well, and then there's that voice. There are only a few people on the planet who get a gift that unique. So yeah, go ahead and try to pick a favorite song from "The Awakening." Just one. Go ahead and try. I dare you.
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on February 23, 2014
My first listening to this album surprised me with the many genres that Morrison has woven into one CD. And the distinctions are clear-- not just a difference in beat with the same stylistic approach. His voice has some of the roughness of Rod Stewart's but is more melodic. His musicianship is excellent, as well as the musical quality of each song. This is an album I find myself coming back to again and again. I'll be looking for new releases, for sure.
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on October 12, 2011
I've always been a huge fan of James Morrison. I have all three of his albums that have been released stateside. In a day when auto tune and manufactured artists are a nickel for a dozen its great to still hear someone that actually has talent. His voice is so soulful and enchanting I don't understand why more people in the U.S. haven't gotten in to him. This album is a treasure and I can't stop listening to it.

This album is a great throw back to great music and great singing without all the electronics behind it.

I Love the whole album but my most favorite songs are "In My Dreams" "I Won't Let You Go" "Slave To The Music" and "The Awakening".

Buy it you'll love it!
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James Morrison's third CD offers some great gems. The opener "In My Dreams" has a vibrant carefree melody, "On the front of the crossbar of your bike we can go anyplace anywhere you like." "I Won't Let You Go" celebrates romantic certainty with James' vocals passionately expressive, "If there's love, just feel it; If there's light, we'll see it; This is no time to be alone." The rhythmic "Slave to the Music" cuts an irresistible groove, "She's got me dancing." "Beautiful Life" crams a lot of words into a snippet of melody that comes across like a joyful ray of sunshine. While these are my favorites, none of the tracks come across as clinkers. This is a strong set by this developing artist. Enjoy!
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on October 12, 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 July 13, 2012
I have his first two albums and he never lets me down. He is a genuine artist that will stick to who he is no matter what everyone else is doing. It is hard to find artist like him these days that will captivate you and won't change with the times to appeal to other people. He seems loyal to his fans and to himself. I can't wait to hear his next album and yes I will buy it from amazon because I can't find him in the stores in my area.
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on June 24, 2012
Just when I thought I couldn't love James Morrison more, he gave us The Awakening.. There is nothing about this album that I do not love and appreciate.. It's simply skillful!! Amazing job James...Well done!!.
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on October 12, 2011
James has an amazing voice; it's perfectly raspy and full of soul. The lyrics are thought provoking and the music is extremely well produced. I love every song and am having a hard time deciding which are my favorites, if I were pressed to name my top 7, they'd be: Six Weeks, Forever, Person I Should Have Been, Slave to the Music, One Life, Say Something Now and Beautiful Life. But I really do love them all, I rarely skip songs, I just let the CD play from beginning to end. I really enjoyed his first 2 CD's but I think this one is even better because of it's reflectiveness of life, love and death. I think it's great that someone so young writes and sings about such meaningful things. Finally, I appreciate that the lyrics are incldued in the cover jacket, a lot of CDs don't for some reason. Buy this CD!!!
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on January 6, 2012
I never buy albums because I am guaranteed to hate at least half of the songs. I bought this album because it was cheaper than buying several songs singly.
I am glad I did. All the tracks are soulful and beautiful, though different. I can't stop listening.
I love James Morrison!
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