Friday, December 2, 2016

E2TG Review - Josh Morris: Can't Wait 'Til Now

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I have been following Josh Morris’ music career for several years now. First, as one half of the duo And the Giraffe, and later as a solo artist and producer. His first solo EP, Greenfields, was one of my favorite releases of 2015, and that year, he produced Real Bad News, the debut album by E2TG Artist of the Year Jon Latham.  

Morris has been busy in 2016: working on Latham’s follow up effort, working on a forthcoming Darrin Bradbury (another E2TG Artist of the Year) album among several other projects. Plus, he went back to school. In between all of that, he found the time to record his first full-length solo album.  Can’t Wait ‘Till Now is being released today (December 2) with a CD release show set for December 3 at The Country.

“Amusing to Me”, the opening track, has the hallmarks of a great Josh Morris song: a hook-laden melody that recalls some of the great pop music of the last half of the most recently completed century and smart, witty lyrics - “I’ve been looking for God, but He don’t drink at the bar.”  From this opening track, however, it is clear that Josh Morris is ready to expand his musical palette.

There is a lot going on musically on this album - like the organ sound at the beginning of the second track, “Waste Your Time”, but the musical acrobatics never distract from songs. It is Josh Morris, the producer, who gets the credit for that, and it is one of the reasons that he is one of the best new producers working in Music City.

The song, “Waste Your Time”, has the feel of a hungover morning filled with a hazy feeling of regret. “Slow Down” has been getting some local radio airplay. The driving insistent melody and the unearthly vocals make this a stand-out track.

Much of the rest of the album are slow songs buoyed by the vibrant musicality and the rich lyrical prowess.

“I Promise I’m Scared Now” is a stunning instrumental with flashes of warm ambient electronic music.

The album closes with “Heart Bleeds” which employees a discordant wall of sound that fades and returns and surrounds the moody introspective vocals and lyrics.

Can’t Wait ‘Til Now is, in the end,  a great pop album that shows off the growth and maturity of Josh Morris as a performer, songwriter, and producer.  On this album, he is backed by Cory Nichols and John Gentile, who both played on Greenfields, Jon Latham who adds guitar to three songs, and Mike Burns who plays slide on two tracks.  Jennifer Pappas provided the artwork, as she has done for virtually all of Morris’ releases.

The album is out now. You can stream it below, and you can buy it from the usual outlets. Now, who wants a doughnut?

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