It isn’t easy to write songs filled with poignancy and meaning and not fall into cliché. So many writers confuse reflection with melancholy, love with mawkishness or joyful optimism with cheesy platitude. That is what makes Sarah Morris so great, the ability to explore the full range of emotions without falling into such traps. Her songs remain sharp and full of meaning; she has the ability to deliver lyrical depth wrapped up in accessible lyricism and make music that is full of sass, swing and spirit.
Musically she mixes a Nashville vibe with rootsy pop poise but still manages to run a few darker undercurrents through proceedings just to keep the listener guessing. She seems aware that Music City is more a commercial music genre than a geographical place and whilst tipping her hat to some of its less laboured stylings manages to create her own take on a soulful, country-pop vibe.
Some of the albums finer moments come in the less obvious moments and songs such as You Still Have Me are what you imagine Nora Jones sounding like if she hadn’t have paid her dues in New York or had carried on through the generic door she opened with her breakthrough album, Feels Like Home.
But essentially this is the sound of country music not playing by the rules, eschewing the set in stone traditions and exploring a wider musical pallet. Broad-minded fans of the genre will find much to their tastes but it is the progressive nature and accessibility of the music that will find her an army of fans in less like places.