"Formerly known merely as Plush, Liam Hayes returns with his own name emblazoned across the sleeve of his new album, and as with Bright Penny's widely lauded predecessor, Fed, here's an album that's singularly out of step with its time. Far away from the modern predilection for all things lo-fi and what Psychedlic Horseshit wryly brand "shit-gaze", Bright Penny embraces lavish '70s easy listening-style arrangements, full of horns, multi-layered backing vocals, creamy basslines and an overall feeling of old-fashioned values resurrected without irony or cynicism. Although for some listeners the likes of 'So Much Music' might come a little too close to the bellbottom-wearing sub-Bacharach hit parade fillers of thirty years ago, there's plenty of evidence here to support the case that Hayes is something of a genius in the field of MOR (if such a thing is possible): the straight-faced, swinging pop magnificence of 'White Telescope' reveals a true studio craftsman at work."
Monday, September 28, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Thursday, September 03, 2009
If you were thinking about buying this album......
"Meet the new king of pop. Well, the new king of chamber pop, a Kansas City songsmith whose second album is a breathtakingly beautiful work of wonder. Please Kid, Remember is a meticulously arranged, lavishly layered collection of wistful reminiscences, waltz-time reveries and heartache ballads, featuring Morgan's hushed, intimate whisper. This album couldn't be more haunting and autumnal if it came with some leaves and a packet of freeze-dried memories of your ex-loves."
"Started back in 2003, the fact that this glittering collection of songs has only now been brought to the surface indicates the depths of ill-health and ill-fortune its creator was plunged into in the intervening years. Morgan's debut, 'Misadventures in Radiology', was recorded courtesy of studio time donated by Elliott Smith and there is a respectful doffing of the cap to the master on 'Victory in Passing'. Elsewhere Morgan's swooning vocal perfectly compliments the dewey-eye romanticism of 'As Long As We're Together' and 'Five Paintings'. In fact, the only complaint is that this a glorious daydream of an album waltzes by all too fast. 9/10."
"The fact that ‘Please Kid, Remember’ even exists is surely testament to the strength of the human spirit. That it is also so distinctly beautiful to listen to is a wonder all its own. Blankets of soft orchestrated strings shield every melodic nuance and melody, lending these paeans to love, nature and death a stately, sometimes haunting quality. The breadth of sonic scope here is colossal, yet always concise. On any one song you’re likely to be able to pick out numerous guitars, bells, drums, strings, pianos, harpsichords and harmoniums, all circling around Morgan’s undulating wave of vocals. The Press release mentions a likeness to ‘Disney soundtracks’, but only if that film soundtrack is Bambi as re-shot by a French existentialist art-house director, in the deep unrelenting snow. A huge talent, strongly recommended. 8 out of 10."
"A triumph in baroque, emotive pop. Imaginative and subtle, the meticulously arranged music of “Please Kid, Remember” rarely puts a foot wrong. Far from a summer album, the songs exude a wistfulness that summons the mood and possibilities of late autumn. 8.0."
-Too Cool to Die
"If scientists were able to insert probes into trees and record the actual sound of leaves turning from green to gold in Autumn, then those recordings would form the basis for Andrew Morgan’s second album, ‘Please Kid, Remember’. Veering between impossibly pretty and achingly beautiful, Morgan has pieced together a masterful collection of songs and brief instrumentals. One of the most wonderfully ornate and beautiful records ever."
"With 17 tracks stretched taut over 34 minutes, it's a glorious jamboree of soul-hugging sounds - a brief but thrillingly romantic encounter. Prepare to be seduced all over again."
"The album exudes a sense of familiarity, of childhood birthdays, of dreams remembered ('Mine and Mine Alone'), and of watching snow fall from behind frosty windows ('As Long As We're Together'). Sleighbells shield the songs from the outside world, and withing the LP, a cast of characters wake and sleep, and fall in and out of love. To term it 'chamber pop' would be too technical a term. Rather, think of it as 'music from within a snow globe'. 8/10."
"Memorable lush and classy-sounding pop on outstanding second album from Kansas-based singer-songwriter, Andrew Morgan. With lots of memorable melodies and lush and classy arrangements, Morgan's soft-voiced vocals deliver the goods in under three quarters of an hour. Set against many pop albums from the past years, Andrew Morgan's second album probably is one of this year's finest moments."
"There is an incredibly warm texture to the album, with layers of instruments, be they harpsichords, violins, celestas, Rhodes, handclaps, voices and no end of other toys building behind the acoustic guitar that leads the slow, sleepy charge. Please Kid, Remember grabs you from the word go. Lovely."
"With echoes of classic chamber-pop like Odessey and Oracle, Morgan's sophomore effort is a minor miracle."
"Celebratory chamber pop, like Ed Harcourt singing a Broadway musical by Stephin Merritt. Morgan's voice carries an exemplary singer-songwriter fragility, but there's a lot more fruity diversions than is usual. Worth the wait. 8/10."
"The similarities to Elliott Smith are welcoming, the orchestral sections are haunting and the composition is beautiful. Welcome to the world of Andrew Morgan."
"A stunningly well-arranged example of the songwriter's art. The symphonic proportions of the album are well earned with great writing. Please Kid, Remember is almost overwhelming in its scope and accomplishment, and you can well understand how such an undertaking took five years to finish. Excellent."
"A wonderful collection of gentle, intelligent, Americana-influenced pop. 4 stars."
"Morgan’s panoramic arrangements and breathy vocals, which actually do bring to mind The Zombies' Colin Blunstone, are every bit the orchestral pop revelation. Brief instrumental passages, which themselves often beg for more attention as they introduce and play with leitmotifs, weave together Morgan’s airy, sublime, psychedelic, idiosyncratic songs. Andrew Morgan’s talent as an arranger and songwriter is clear, and if you’re after a record to soundtrack those weird, overcast Sundays that bridge the gap between Summer and Autumn, this is probably what you’re looking for."
"Morgan's whispering vocals embody the curiosities of adolescence. And the often large, symphonic arrangements that accompany those vocals spire toward an epic scale, melding seamlessly with the economy of Morgan's lyrics. Through it all, Morgan produces a sound that brims with emotional complexity, at once melancholic and hopeful, tender and disenchanted."
"A pretty, meditative, rainy-afternoon record. Morgan's sound is characterized by lush string-and-piano arrangements and clean electric and acoustic guitars, topped off by Morgan's breathy, multitracked vocals. His compositional abilities are top-shelf, resulting in brilliantly conceived instrumental arrangements that turn his light indie-pop tunes into radiant, ballroom-filling waltzes. I could easily see Morgan following in the footsteps of Badly Drawn Boy or Randy Newman in scoring a film — particularly one by Wes Anderson."
"Andrew Morgan records are fantastical experiences that create their own little imaginative universes, a lot like Jean-Pierre Jeunet or Michel Gondry films. Elaborately arranged chamber music and whispery vocals collide with the sort of rainy-day pop music that The Zombies or Elliott Smith might conjure. One gets the sense that if Morgan were not occupied with perfecting his pop muse, he'd probably be scoring art-house cinema."