James Morrison Gets Personal on Purpose With New Album ‘The Awakening’
It's been three years since fans last heard from James Morrison, but now the soulful singer-songwriter is back with 'The Awakening,' a brand-new album that may just be his best and most-personal LP to date.
Since the success of his 2006 platinum-selling debut, 'Undiscovered,' the British musician caught the world's attention with his distinctive voice and soul/R&B disposition. He released his sophomore album, ‘Songs for You, Truths for Me,' two years later, but has been relatively quiet ever since.
However, the 27-year-old hasn't been sitting idle. As he says, not only has he been working on what would be 'The Awakening,' but he's also been touring the world and "being a dad to a very energetic child." When he wasn't writing or changing diapers, he spent time "reflecting on life."
Some of those reflections came with being a new parent, but Morrison also had to deal with the loss of his own father after a long battle with alcoholism and depression. "Those experiences made me want to write meaningful songs, less pop," he tells PopCrush exclusively. "I wanted to write songs that would last."
And that is what he's done. 'The Awakening' shows off a new side of the Warwickshire native, offering immensely beautiful tracks that were written with intent. "I had a rough idea of what I wanted to achieve musically -- sound-wise, lyric wise -- and pretty much achieved what I set out to do, [which is] write some personal songs that all sound a lot different that are relatable," he explains. "I just wanted to like it, whether or not it did well, whereas albums one and two were me just trying stuff."
One of the most notable songs on the album is 'Up,' Morrison's collaboration with Jessie J. "I wanted someone with a great voice and style, and Jessie had all of it," he admits. "We are two different artists and I liked the idea of two styles coming together."
In October, 'The Awakening' debuted at No. 1 on the U.K. charts, a position Morrison held for two consecutive weeks. 'Up' currently boasts over 3 million views on YouTube, and the singer is only getting started. However, with a packed schedule, it has been hard to enjoy the fruits of his success. "I’ve been so busy that I have just had to get on with stuff," he adds. "I’ve got Christmas and a holiday -- that’s when I’ll take it in."
Watch the James Morrison and Jessie J ‘Up’ Video