Album of the Week: James Vincent McMorrow's We Move: distinctive and idiosyncratic

Fri, Sep 2, 2016, 09:26

   
 

Album:
We Move

Artist:
James Vincent McMorrow

Label:
Believe

Genre:
Rock

One of the most striking things about We Move is its identity. When James Vincent McMorrow originally came along with Early in the Morning in 2010, the Dubliner was taking his shapings from a bunch of beardy, melancholic singer-songwriter peers. Post Tropical was a radical enough move away from that sort of introspective, sombre, kind of boring, if we’re honest, self-absorbed shedlife.

Yet there were plenty of parallels to which you could attach McMorrow’s falsetto and electronic stitching.

It’s a much different matter now. What we get with We Move is something quite distinctive and idiosyncratic, an album where the good game which McMorrow has always talked (and tweeted) in terms of musical likes and guide-ropes has actually materialised in some form.

You can make out a clear developmental arc between the three albums, yet there’s a hell of a leap and jump evident here too. You can attribute this to both McMorrow’s growth as a songwriter and some class of eureka moment when it comes to the finer details.

A lot of guff is spoken about attention to detail when it comes to records, but it’s apparent that We Move has benefited from some tender, careful, thoughtful proving and handling. The manner in which the singer and his crew of production buddies (including Nineteen85, Two Inch Punch, Frank Dukes, Jimmy Douglass, John O’Mahony and Ross Dowling) attend to the material means we have an album where the sounds are bewitching, soulful and warmly toned.

The songs are probably McMorrow’s finest to date, a clutch of tracks dealing with the doubts and fuzzy-headed approach with which everyone deals with love, life, health and the future.

Rising Water and Evil are particular highlights, both beautifully rendered and powerfully laid out as McMorrow goes deep with the emotional scene-setting.

When it comes to that Venn diagram – where so many are exploring the crossover between indie, r’n’b and soul –

McMorrow has come up with a much different plot for himself.

jamesvmcmorrow.com