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The Awakening

4.6 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 11, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

2011 release, the third album from the award-winning British singer/songwriter. The album features the singles 'I Won't Let You Go' and 'Slave To The Music' as well as 'Up', a collaboration with Jessie J. Island.
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Digital Booklet: The Awakening
Digital Booklet: The Awakening
Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 11, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Republic
  • ASIN: B005ILWOZA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,020 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
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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Format: Audio CD
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.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
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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