Meet Morgan James
I must have said "I'm never drinking again" about 40 times; each one a bigger lie than the next. Sunday was a rough day to say the least. After planning to have a low-key Saturday, of course we went out, got drunk, and ended up ordering a Hawaiian pizza with extra cheese at 3 AM. After coffee, Tylenol, a nap, and a shower, I managed to get up and go to a bar to watch the World Cup final; I only ordered water. Great game, but I couldn't really appreciate it. By the 70th minute I was ready to go home and sleep away the pain. I thought I would be hungover forever, until I hopped in my friend's car and Morgan James came flowing like the liquor through the speakers. Ladies and gentleman, I think she has magical hangover curing powers.
Okay, I was still hungover, but I felt much better knowing I had found a great "Meet" candidate. From the song's first note, I knew she was one to pay attention to, and I trust my gut. Sure enough, my gut feeling proved correct once I checked out her new album. I wish we could feature every song on her Hunter album, because really, the only way to get a real sense of her musical style is by listening to every song. If we're being real, her single, "I Want You," isn't my favorite track off the album, but I see why it was selected. If you like some low-key R&B it's dope, it's just not my preference. Lucky for me, she has an arsenal of approaches, from sultry R&B to straight pop, and even some vintage soul. Far and away, my favorite effort is "Heart Shake." It has such a fresh sound while still incorporating some vintage soul vibes; the same can be said for "Fed Up On You." I guarantee you can find something that you like on this album. Even the stuff that may not be right up your alley will draw you in. Top to bottom it's a very complete, diverse album.
I'm hesitant to call this an R&B album, since there are so many flavors, but I will say it's right up there with Sam Smith's newly-released debut album, which is one of the best R&B projects of the year. In fact, I almost prefer it because she has such a wide variety of approaches. Sam is great, but pure R&B just isn't my bag and James blends a little bit of everything I love on Hunter. She has that same spark, that "it" factor that Sam has, whether it be a light soul song or a deep, powerful jazzy number, like say, a Nina Simone cover.
I don't know how someone so talented, who is signed to Epic Records, doesn't have their music being player everywhere. A sound this great needs to be played for the world. I guess I'll just have to patiently wait until she blows the fuck up. I know I said I'm never drinking again, but I'll drink to you, Morgan.
[Lucas Garrison is a writer for DJBooth.net. His favorite album is “College Dropout,” but you can also tweet him your favorite Migos songs at @LucasDJBooth.]