Jeremy – Bright Morning Star (2014)

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Given the fact Jeremy Morris has been a seriously active presence in the independent music community for the past couple of decades and releases several albums a year, he is a widely recognized name. Aside from being astonishingly prolific, the caliber of the Portage, Michigan-based artist’s work is extremely high, and his latest endeavor Bright Morning Star is no exception.

Not only is Jeremy a mighty fine singer and songwriter, but he’s also a master of many instruments. Here on Bright Morning Star, he plays guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, mandolin, and ukulele. Cementing the gig is Jeremy’s father, Bill, on trumpet and saxophone, Todd Borsch on bass, Kelsey Rose on violin, and David Dietrich on drums. Sonically rich and diverse, the album catches Jeremy expressing his love and gratitude for the Lord in the context of a pop rocking symphony.

Most of the songs on Bright Morning Star (JAM Records) push the five-minute mark, resulting in stunning spreads of spellbinding shapes and structures. Jeremy’s vocals, which recall a melding of George Harrison and Roger McGuinn, provide such elongated episodes a sense of balance and melody. A mantra-like ambience captains “Jehovah Sunshine” before thundering into a brassy jam bordering on 1950s-styled rock and roll, a healthy reverence for Led Zeppelin-flavored psychedelic folk is deposited on the acoustic-laced “All Because Of You,” and “Forever And Ever” floats and flows to a calm and peaceful air pronounced by serene sound effects resembling the light gushing of a waterfall.

Jeremy’s penchant for hard and heavy rock is wielded in spades on “Lay It Down” and “Forever The Same,” while a smoking cover of Cream’s “I’m So Glad” differs a bit from the original version with its changed lyrics and slightly altered arrangements. Smothered in a simmering sauce of twinkling twelve-string licks, glittering hooks, and blissed-out harmonics, “Glory And Hope” logs in as another fantastic song included on the album.

Schooled in the sacred texts of Pink Floyd, the Moody Blues, and Procol Harum, assisted by loud and clear echoes of the Beatles, the Byrds and the Move, Jeremy has delivered an album that majestically mixes space rock and progressive pop into one grand statement. Force and power rest knee to knee with uplifting commentary on this experimental and ambitious, yet readily approachable album. Oozing with honesty and free-wheeling performances, Bright Morning Star is a modern day classic-rock beauty.

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at [email protected]
Beverly Paterson
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