James Vincent McMorrow – Post Tropical (2014)

James Vincent McMorrow, who hails from Dublin, Ireland, didn’t exactly rush back with another long player after dropping his acclaimed debut in 2010. But he didn’t fool with the recipe that made Early in the Morning work, either.

McMorrow again brilliantly explores escapism, loneliness and confidence through Post Tropical — even if this new project (due on January 14, 2014) lacks anything as galvanizing as his cover of Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love,” from a subsequent EP.

Post Tropical begins with the fragile “Cavalier,” which tells the memories of his first love and the vulnerability associated with it. This really minimalist song is carried mainly by McMorrow’s voice early on, and in the second half by a flat drum sound. “Repeating,” a highlight of the album, unfolds as if a small orchestra made a stop in the studio and drizzled out its sound over the course of the song. That’s a great example of the way McMorrow plays around with instrumentation, finding he perfect settings for his trenchant voice.

The sparcely instrumented title-track begins slowly, but is likewise filled with full of variety with highs and lows — providing a fitting conclusion to a very intimate album.

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Mike Dostert

Luxembourg resident Mike Dostert has written about music for more than two decades, with work appearing in a local newspaper, via his own independent music magazine and at the web sites www.music-brain.com and lux-culture.jimdo.com. He has also worked for 20 years as a DJ and radio host. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.