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World Music CD Reviews North American

Morley

By Tom Jackson
Published April 27, 2007

Days Like These
Circular Moves

Among singer/songwriter Morley’s less widely trumpeted achievements is a performance of three songs on the daytime soap opera, General Hospital. Her second album starts off unpromisingly, sounding not unlike something likely to be pumped through a hospital AV system as patients come groggily out of anesthesia: pleasant, bland, nothing too alarming or memorable. It’s a syrupy sludge of by-numbers folk-rooted pop-soul. Mercifully, halfway through this sophomore release, sense prevails, good taste kicks in and Morley more than turns things round. “Hush” puts real heat under the songwriting, setting a more interesting template with gospel vocals inspiring an intense, steamy performance. A harder edge works quite well on the elliptical, 9/11-inspired blues “Days Like These.” The lyrics are overwritten throughout, with too many saccharine references to angels for this reviewer’s taste, but poetic simplicity is at the heart of the album's loveliest moment, the gentle, harmonium-accompanied “My Bed Is By The Sea.”