Rae Morris has the first great pop album of 2018 with Someone Out There – Review

raemorrissot

By Jack

On Someone Out There Rae Morris truly comes into her own. No longer the shy ingénue whose wild tangle of hair adorned the cover of debut Unguarded, her second is a voyage into the fringes of contemporary pop.

Unguarded had a dusty, time-faded quality: it was part of the aesthetic and the album’s considerable charm. Someone Out There throws all of that out. This is not old wine in new bottles: these songs are entirely of their own mind; bursting with zest, humour, heart & soul.

‘Reborn’ is firm with its message: “these are new beginnings” Rae intones, whilst the ceaseless 5/4 beat and monosyllabic synth riff informs the same all the clearer. ‘Do It’ is dancehall via confessional pop, with tatesful synth washes and sensual, sub-aquatic bass. ‘Lower the Tone’ provides the first, but not the only, moment of startling beauty – a heartfelt ode to longing with spine-tingling vocoder flourishes.

Closing on the bitter-sweet tale of an older couple reflecting on their life together (‘Dancing With Character’), Rae Morris reminds us that even without the whizz-bangs, she can still rouse the soul.

Someone Out There firmly kicks the football into contemporary, radio friendly mainstream pop. But this is no retcon. The punchy, invigorating instrumentation only elevate what are already a very strong selection of songs. On Someone Out There Rae Morris takes her music in brave and surprising new directions with considerable elan and delicate, airy femininity. The best pop album of the year so far, and by a considerable margin.

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