You Give Me Something
The last twenty years or so have seen a rise in the popularity of male solo singer/songwriters in the UK. They are generally in their twenties, sporting an almost contrived, stylised scruffy look. They are not that familiar with their razor, or for that matter, their hairbrush. Sartorially, they tend to favour the look of a badly-presented student; clothes unironed, and looking badly in need of a wash. Their repertoires are also all worryingly similar. Loss of their love, striving to achieve, yearning to be understood. To be honest, they all tend to merge a bit. I find it hard to differentiate between one stubble-faced twenty-something and another quite frankly. Their busker roots are generally apparent, and most sink without trace, soon after becoming the latest thing.
Examples of this very British genre might include Badly Drawn Boy, and also Ed Sheeran; though he is doing exceptionally well at the moment, cleverly switching styles, so as not to bore his audience. Every so often, one of these young men produces something exceptional. You hear it on the car radio, and almost have to stop the vehicle, to fully appreciate the talent displayed.
In 2006, I experienced this exact situation, when I heard this song for the first time. It might have been the natural husky tones of his voice, possibly the clever addition of strings and a brass section, adding an orchestral feel. It is a song where a young man appeals to his love to feel as he does. There is a certain poignancy, but the lyrics are hardly amazing. It just all comes together. It simply works.
James Morrison shares his name with the late Jim Morrison, former lead vocalist of The Doors. There is no similarity in style, but I like to think that his parents might have been fans. I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since. I don’t really want to watch him sing it, but I always want to listen to it. (Sorry about the ad)