When Irish singer and songwriter James Vincent McMorrow first emerged with his stunning debut album 'Early In The Morning' in 2010, he was greeted as one of the most progressive and forward-thinking names to arrive on the folk-pop scene in years. His distinctly lyrical flow and vibrant compositions led him to numerous accolades, and saw him build himself up as a bright and shimmering artist, brimming with substantial potential. But with a strong dabble in the commercial world of late, he now returns with a wildly different fifth full-length in the form of 'Grapefruit Season'.
It is clear to say that the James Vincent McMorrow of then and now are two vastly different beasts. While he still looks to maintain a smooth and tranquil direction within his music, his adventures through the worlds of dancehall and modern RnB have given him a far more eclectic sound as he looks to reinvent himself for this new decade. And while some of these new offerings look to inspire and dazzle like his initial aesthetic, much of the record seems to have trouble finding a fresh and unique perspective for him to follow, creating an almost untethered direction throughout.
There are moments of greatness feathered throughout this new collection, but 'Grapefruit Season' has this unfocused thread running throughout where it feels as if McMorrow is now unsure of the artist he would like to become. A strong and solid return, but one that doesn't quite gel together as well as we'd hoped.