Thursday, February 23, 2012

James Vincent McMorrow: "We Don't Eat" (EP review)

The new EP from Irish folk singer James Vincent McMorrow is in reality a long-playing single for the track "We Don't Eat", from his 2011 album Early In the Morning.

The focus track itself is unremarkable.  It's a fairly standard McMorrow orchestral folk number.  The live version that rounds out the record doesn't bring anything new to the table either.

It's the cover tunes that are the really intriguing items on this release.

The first is a studio version of the schmaltzy Steve Winwood hit "Higher Love".  McMorrow does a good job of stripping it down and repackaging it as a far more cerebral work.

The other cover is a live rendition of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game".  This version is surprisingly faithful to the original.  The arrangement is a tad simpler, but McMorrow does an exceptional job in recreating the haunting quality of Isaak's falsetto vocals.

The last entry is a live version of "If I Had a Boat", the standout track from Early In The Morning.  It's a strong track, but again it offers little more than the original album version.

While the two cover songs are unquestioningly of interest, the value provide by essentially re-releasing album cuts is dubious at best.

Track listing for We Don't Eat:
  • We Don't Eat
  • Higher Love
  • Wicked Games (live)
  • If I Had a Boat (live)
  • We Don't Eat (live)

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