MARK MORRISS – A Flash Of Darkness

Acid Jazz 2014

Former Bluetone strikes in the heart of gloom – all on his own.

MARK MORRISS - A Flash Of Darkness

MARK MORRISS –
A Flash Of Darkness

Britpop survivors THE BLUETONES ceased to exist in 2011 but their singer was quite prepare to go it alone by that time. 2008’s solo debut “Memory Muscle” didn’t fully flex Mark Morriss’ creative tissue, yet its louder successor forces fulfillment on all fronts. It’s a cinematic concept record where the title track breaks out of initial spaghetti-western whistle into an irresistible flamenco-flecked glam that marries merriment with melancholic reflection whose “that’s me they all accuse” message brings forth the country roll confession of “Guilty Again” and the delicate acceptance of “It’s Hard To Be Good All The Time” both wrapped in a guitar web and desperate, if perky in piano department, harmonies. There’s also a melodious thread to run through the regret and hope revealed in the unhurried “Low Company” or the upbeat “Life Without F(r)iction” whence color wonder and a hint of reggae spring.

And then there’s magic in the acoustically warmed vocal polyphony of “This Is The Lie” which anchors MM’s joie de vivre to the folk field before “Space Cadet” explodes into the synthesizers-licked cosmic drone-rockin’ Major Tom would enjoy if he ever comes back down to Earth. But if he, or any other restless, adventurous soul, does, “Sleep Song” will offer such a wanderer a lullaby and a wake-up call of a riffy chorus to chase darkness away. That’s much more than a flash, that’s a bright light, so the ex-Bluetone shameful “it looks like me and it sounds like me” has all the rights to become a boast. It’s that pleasing.

****4/5

November 8, 2014

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