Release Date: Jan 26, 2015
Record label: Atlantic
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter
The debut, full-length solo album from British chanteuse Rae Morris, 2015's Unguarded provides a great showcase for the Lancashire-born artist's absorbing, hypnotic pop. The album comes on the heels of a string of successful EPs from Morris, who was signed to Atlantic at the young age of 17 in 2011. Despite her youth, Morris made the most of her early career boost, playing shows in London, developing her songwriting skills with singer/songwriter Karima Francis, and touring and recording with Bombay Bicycle Club for their expansive 2014 album So Long, See You Tomorrow -- all of which she brings to bear on the superb Unguarded.
Over the last twelve months, Rae Morris has been waiting in the wings. Occasionally stepping out for a collaboration or two, lending her vocals to the likes of Clean Bandit and Bombay Bicycle Club, hers is a voice that’s grown increasingly familiar as the year’s gone by. Now, as the Blackpudlian gears up to release her debut album, she’s taking centre stage.
Rae Morris fans have had to be patient in awaiting this debut album. Many were hooked as soon as they heard 'Don’t Go' all the way back in March 2012 - only three years later do we finally have a full length release to listen to. Still, it’s great that her label have allowed her that time to develop and hone her sound and the age of 21, she can afford to patient with her output.
There’s a cohort of people born in the 1990s to whom Coldplay’s serene sentimentality remains undiminished by the passage of time. Rae Morris is one of them. With producers Ariel Rechtshaid, Jim Eliot and Fryars, she’s made a kind of new-age Rush of Blood to the Head that might pique the attention of the Twilight-loving Ellie Goulding teen market.
It’s safe to assume the title of Rae Morris’s debut album of airy pop refers to vulnerability rather than recklessness. Over its 12 tracks – co-produced in part by the ubiquitous Ariel Rechtshaid – Morris rarely gives the impression of someone prone to rash decisions, musical or otherwise, her meticulously crafted songs falling somewhere between the witchy kook of early Bat for Lashes (Skin, Do You Even Know?) and the wispy electronics of Ellie Goulding (Love Again). For the most part it’s the more delicate moments that suit her best, particularly on the pleasingly acerbic Cold and the lovelorn sigh of This Time, but overall the immaculate sheen smothers the emotional honesty.