Matt Morris

Digging For Days Reviews...
When Everything Breaks Open
by Matt Morris

It really does pay to have friends in high places. Or in the case of Matt Morris, to have the Justin Timberlake to executive produce your album. But even without JT, Morris shines on his own. His debut album When Everything Breaks Open, finds the former Mousekeeter channeling his own version of a soul Ray LaMontagne. It suits him just fine as evidenced in the opener Don't You Dare. Groovy beats and loud drums resonate amidst Morris' soothing blue-eyed soul vocals. It's one of the best hooks on the album. Morris finds his muse in many things. He's got a very lyrically current song called Money (Money ain't the villain, it's the greed that's the killer), one called Love, and the violin laced The Un-American. The latter is a very tongue and cheek take on the state of the union. (The un-American is needs a personal Jesus, private insurance, an obedient wife)

But the highlight of the entire album comes from the breathtaking track Live Forever. It's no surprise that it's a Timberlake produced affair. It starts off with a dreamy pipe organ before devolving into a bombastic melody driven song. Amidst it all, though, its Morris' voice that cuts through-remaining calm and collected. His voice is at a constant quiet restraint, wanting the lyrics to really hit and not fuss it up with vocal runs.

What can make him so appealing in one song is what is frustrating in another. Morris is a definite soul singer but very rarely does he really show off his vocals. I want to hear his guy sing because I know he can. Also, too many times, the songs never quite take off because of a lack of a strong hook to latch onto such as the RnB lite track In This House. When Everything Breaks Opens can at times be a misnomer because Morris too often holds back vocally when he needs to let go like on Just Before the Morning.

But with that said, Matt provides the music scene with a jolt of blue eyed soul that's perfect for those us who need a soundtrack to life's real problems. B-

Matt Morris- Myspace
Don't You Dare (live at Bonnaroo)-

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