Maren Morris is back with a vengeance with an incredible brand new follow up to her major label debut ‘Hero’. With such a critically acclaimed and adored major label debut, it was always going to be tough to follow up with the same lyrical prowess and genre crossing earworms, but Morris has achieved this and more. By utilising a lyrical talent for strong stories with witty tones, strong multi-genre melodic influences and powerful vocals ‘GIRL’ is a work sure to behold the same graces of critical acclaim and fanaticism as ‘Hero’.
Kicking off with title track and lead single ‘GIRL’ it is evident that this album is a testament to Morris’ fearless attitude. Using the work as an anthem for female empowerment and strength, ‘GIRL’ lends itself to a lyrically strong artist with a sense of maturity and a clear goal to celebrate womenkind. With an air of indie-rock it is immediately evident that Morris’ multi-faceted influences will be key to developing her new sound throughout the rest of the album.
‘The Feels’ is an anthem for all new lovers and melodically is a piece sure to get you tapping your feet. A perfectly constructed pop song laden with well-structured bass and lead guitars, it will be the track of choice for lovers of young and old alike. Track 3 and the first of two collaborations on the album is ‘All My Favorite People’. An evidently strongly country-rock track with the drastically contrasting voices of Morris and Brothers Osbourne is a key highlight of the album. An ode to the individuals who are understanding, it is a track that immediately makes your mind reminisce of the traditional country-rock sounds of the Deep South.
‘A Song for Everything’ is dramatically contrasting to previous tracks on the album thus far. A sweet acoustic guitar immediately leads, with an air of joy and longing, this track does an incredibly job of conveying the emotion which music can invoke. An ode to music, songs that make you feel powerful and celebrating the fact that there is well… a song for everything. A genuinely beautiful track which perfectly coveys the power of music whilst also simultaneously displaying the incredible vocals of Morris.
‘Common’ is the second and final collaboration on the album in which artist extraordinaire and fellow female empowerment icon Brandi Carlisle lends her powerful vocals. A perfect single to represent the album, it is evident that Morris made a strong choice in the track as a promotional single. Continuing the rock sounds and my personal favourite album track is ‘Flavor’. A track Morris first debuted on her hero tour, it has translated well from stage to studio. A pop-rock track, laden with attitude and sass the track airs a sense of confidence from Morris who is keen to display that a genre label does not need to be restrictive.
‘Make Out with Me’ is reminiscent of the popular music R&B influenced tracks topping charts worldwide. A mid-tempo ballad-esque melody led by a beautiful piano, caps the first half of the album with a tone and timbre building strongly into the second half of the album. Continuing the trickle of piano leading the second half of the album is ‘Gold Love’. A perfect exploration of Morris’ vocal range and lyrical intelligence ‘Gold Love’ brings a new sense of surprise with each and every listen.
‘Great Ones’ continues an interesting lyrical journey for Morris as well as firmly solidifying her as a leader in being able to cross-genre in an interestingly unique way to produce a sound which lies firmly in a genre grey-zone. ‘RSVP’ on first listen inspires a sound which could be mistaken as pop princess Ariana Grande. On further listening, it is clear how clever word play is key to Morris displaying that although she maybe a sweetheart of country, she could easily dominate in the world of popular music. ‘Hell and Back’ heads firmly into the country roots which have led Morris into the eye of many early fans as well as critical approval. A truly beautiful track, with hints of steel pedal and a sonically pleasing melody, it is almost without doubt that this track could be adopted by even the most die-hard of traditional country fans.
With two weeks before the release of the latest piece of work by Morris, the world was treated to the next track ‘The Bones’. A track representative of the album as a whole, littered with impressively complex production, intensively constructed lyrics and an outburst of attitude, it is blindingly obvious that Morris has a message to make with this album. Approaching the penultimate track of the album, ‘Good Woman’, there is a change of tone. A cacophony of strings with perfectly complimentary vocals and a timbre with a nuance of joy, it is the perfect penultimate track to top a genuinely impressive album. ‘Shade’ brings the collection of 14 songs to a perfect climax. A strong guitar melody with the wide-ranging vocals of Morris alongside a strong final chorus leaves the listening in a state of shock and contentment after a brilliant collection of musical pieces.
Shaking off the shackles of the country genre and developing a unique mixed genre sound has clearly been incredibly effective with Morris’ creative control lending itself to an extremely mature artist. One of the best sophomore albums I have ever listened to, it is evident that this work has been a labour of love with strong intentions. I cannot recommend listening to ‘GIRL’ enough. It is a truly enjoyable sonic experience.
- The Feels
- All My Favourite People (Feat. Brother Osbourne)
- A Song for Everything
- Common (Feat. Brandi Carlisle)
- Make Out with Me
- Gold Love
- Great Ones
- Hell and Back
- The Bones
- Good Woman