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Simon Morel - Songs From The City

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 28 / 5 / 2006



Simon Morel - Songs From The City
Label: Select Label
Format: CD

intro

Timelessly solid power pop from British-born singer-songwriter Simon Morel, recorded in Australia with Michael Carpenter


Simon Morel will be a new name to many, although he has in fact had a music career that goes back 15 years (so why does he look so young in the CD booklet then? Tell me your secret, Morel!) and has apparently been around the U.K. university circuit playing in various bands. He has also toured taking in Spain, Japan and France to name just a few of the countries he has played in. Maybe it’s just some other parts of Europe that have yet to discover the guitar based pop music that Morel, on the evidence of 'Songs from the City', which is his first album, is excellent at making. Born in Britain but currently based in Australia, it’s no surprise then that Morel’s debut is produced by Australian pop King Michael Carpenter. And it will therefore be no further surprise that with Carpenter involved that this is a collection of eleven superbly produced and played pure pop gems. As with the other Carpenter related release this month (Adam Power’s excellent ‘What Were Sundays For?’) Morel tackles the whole spectrum of pop/ rock and comes out on top. He handles the more upbeat songs like ‘Gold Plated’, just one of the songs which shows what a good lyricist Morel is with lines which haven’t been seen since Squeeze were at their best, (“I’m not always what she wants me to be, she’s got to realise this isn’t TV, It all started sometime in November and now it’s over – it’s only December”), as well as more subdued straight love songs like ‘Stained’ with ease. Switching from love struck to love lost and from rock to ballad is no problem for the talented Morel. Vocally Morel has a clear voice. You never have to strain to hear what he is singing about, which is good when his lyrics are always so interesting. It’s pointless trying to come up with any comparisons vocally. Although not the kind of vocalist that makes you think “Who the hell is that?” Morel is a more than competent vocalist and has the type of voice that will appeal to many people of different age groups. Although Michael Carpenter not only produces but plays his usual array of instruments including drums, bass, guitars and keyboards as well as supplying backing vocals and his presence is obvious it’s still very much Morel’s album. Morel’s melodies are strong and, as stated before, lyrically Morel really shines. By writing about everyday topics we can all relate too and by keeping things simple and direct with just a touch of humour here and there; “I’ve got a lot of words just waiting here to rhyme”, from ‘Tea & Sympathy’ is a good example, and in wrapping those words in memorable tunes Morel has sensibly chosen a producer who can make the best of those songs. Morel isn’t going to change the world with this album but it’s a solid collection of songs, superbly produced and played. These songs are timeless. They’ll sound as good in 5 years as they do now, they don’t belong to any passing trend. They are strong pop songs which when looking back on what will hopefully be a long career Morel should be proud of, especially for a first album.



Track Listing:-
1 Sick & Tired
2 Tea & Sympathy
3 Would You Let Me?
4 Gold Plated
5 Stained
6 My Friend
7 Point of View
8 Living Without You
9 Better Time
10 Too Late for Another Sorry
11 Home Address



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