James Morrison is no longer Undiscovered

A review of James Morrison at the Paradise Rock Club on February 2, 2009

, Staff Writer

High off his recent Brit Award nomination for Best Male Solo Artist, James Morrison proved he was worthy of the nod with an absolutely brilliant show at the Paradise on Monday night. Morrison’s soulful and downright passionate (dare I say sexy) performance had the predominately female crowd swooning and left them begging for more.

With the British Isles squarely under his spell, the English singer-songwriter has been on a promotional blitz here in the States for the past month, opening several shows for Adele, making the rounds of both late night and daytime television, as well as playing a handful of headlining dates in support of his sophomore album Songs for You, Truths for Me, all of which will (hopefully) ensure that he does not stay ‘Undiscovered’ on this side of the pond for much longer.

Captivating the audience from the first song, Morrison, with boyish good looks and an endearing smile, hit the stage with “This Boy” from his debut album Undiscovered and then alternated between songs from his two studio albums, including “You Make It Real”, “Save Yourself” and his exceptionally popular debut single “You Give Me Something”.

Hitting his stride, Morrison performed “Please Don’t Stop the Rain”, followed by “Broken Strings” which, despite lacking the same drama as the album version that features Nelly Furtado, received a tremendous response from the audience, prompting Morrison to say “ You guys are the most enthusiastic crowd, thanks!”.

In the middle of the set, as a tribute to the recently deceased singer-songwriter John Martyn, Morrison masterfully performed a cover of the timeless song “May You Never”, followed by one of the evenings standout performances, the stunningly beautifully “Once When I was Little”. At the conclusion of the song, one could literally hear a pin drop. With the audience mesmerized, Morrison did not rest on his laurels; in fact, up next was the highlight of the evening, the uber sensual, “If You Don’t Wanna Love Me”.

Closing out the main set, Morrison sang “Precious Love” and the crowd favorite “Wonderful World”. Returning to the stage alone to perform “Better Man”, Morrison genuinely seemed surprised by the huge response from the audience, even pausing to say, “What a response that was wicked pissa”.& He then closed out the show, much to everyone’s disappointment with his latest single “Nothing Ever Hurt Like You”.

Absent of an elaborate stage production (Morrison was backed by a guitarist, pianist and a simple percussion loop), the intimate setting proved to be the perfect compliment to Morrison’s powerful voice and profound lyrics. Taking inspiration from real life experiences, Morrison’s lyrics are emotionally raw, surprisingly mature for a twenty-four year old and yet totally relatable.& Which most like explains why the audience knew literally every word!

While the set was shorter than many would have liked, there was no filler and every song was perfectly placed and brilliantly performed.& A trait of any great artist is to leave the crowd wanting more, and Boston wanted more.&

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