Post Tropical – James Vincent McMorrow

Moving away from Early in the Morning and its mostly acoustic indie-folk sound, Post Tropical is a step towards a more soulful James Vincent McMorrow, as he introduces electronic instruments, brass, and strings into his music. This soulful approach in his music has a stillness to it and it seems to give off an imagery of winter. Distant drums and hip-hop beats seems to have a contrast with James Vincent McMorrow’s airy voice and subtle piano notes. Reaching commercial success with Early in the Morning, however, the acoustic guitar isn’t something McMorrow wants to base his career around. With the new R&B sound that McMorrow has released, there is still his distinctive falsetto that seems to set him apart from other musicians.

A musically different album from Early in the Morning, McMorrow’s high falsettos have remained the same in both and will leave his audiences in an awe. Lyrically, Post Tropical is not much different from its predecessor as his songs tend to be about love and heartbreak. With that being said, he does change up his vocals in a stylistically. In Post Tropical, McMorrow seems to pull emotions out of his words rather than have a narrative that is clear. Written, performed, and produced by McMorrow himself, the album itself is cunning. McMorrow creates harmonies that turn his soft vocals into a massive wave of crescendo that is impossible to beat. Much of the vocals in Post Tropical resemble the first album, especially in the song We Don’t Eat. Both show a sort of pain in his voice that makes the songs stronger and more powerful.

The tempos remain slow but there are few times where they gradually get faster as the song progresses, however, they never went above mid pace. The tempo changes seem to have been an indicator for the climax of the song and then slow back down as the instrumentation and vocals reach the bridge.

As a large step away from the folksy Early in the Morning, Post Tropical is an intricate piece of material that shows that James Vincent McMorrow can experiment, and experiment well. With no interest in repeating himself from the first album, this change in sound is more than welcome. Transitioning from one genre to another can make or break an artist but for James Vincent McMorrow, it seems as though this sophomore album will help him leverage himself further into the industry.

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