James Patrick Morgan – Expected
This isn’t what, unfortunately, what we’ve come to expect from the modern pop landscape. James Patrick Morgan’s “Expected” musically and lyrically challenges listeners without ever sacrificing its accessibly. Morgan’s musical design focus much more on tempo, embellishment, and vocal phrasing over any outright melodic displays, but there’s an abundance of ear catching moments scattered throughout the track and it certainly picks listeners up at the outset and swoops them quite dramatically through the track. Running a hair under three minutes is the optimal length for this rhythmic and vocal cavalcade and Morgan doesn’t waste a single second with any indulgences that might otherwise divert him from his intent.
There’s no question that his intent here is to convey a relatively common experience as physically and stylishly as possible. It will be difficult for any fan of singer/songwriter driven pop music to not be immediately taken up by this music. Morgan belts through every line with equal parts passion and technique, wrapping his sharp enunciation around each word to convey its maximum effect. Morgan never overdoes things – instead, he strikes just the right now from line to line and knows exactly how to bring his considerable vocal skills in complete alignment with the musical arrangement. The lyrical content never strains for comprehensibility – instead, it has a plain-spoken eloquence that drives right into the heart of the situation without ever shirking the experience contained within. He embodies it with conviction, a strikingly musical ear, and great talents for embodying the dark comedic potential inherent in every relationship.
It’s note perfect production. Every part of the sonic tapestry is adequately represented and brought into perfect balance with one another. Naturally, Morgan’s voice is given a certain amount of precedence in the song, but it never overwhelms even a single other part in the track. “Expected” has more sound punch than a lot of other songs in this vein, but it likes to keep things as commercially appealing as possible and manages to pull off that delicate balance act with an artfulness that will impress all but the most jaded listeners. This is a great singer working with supremely well written material that bodes well for his future work.
It’s always exciting to hear a performer that has such a boundless future and comes by it with a honesty that sets him apart from a bevy of his peers. He’s surrounded himself with top flight musicians and a production team who totally understand what exactly he needs to bring this track to its full fruition. James Patrick Morgan’s “Expected” is a musical, vocal, and songwriting powerhouse from its opening onward and never cheats the listener or tries to arrive its effects throughout short cuts and gimmickry. Listeners greet Morgan at the beginning of a brilliant career and we can all take comfort in the fact that a pop scene often derided as thin on actual talent is, actually, enlivened by true talents like this young man.