Not For Long

Undiscovered (Interscope Records)
James Morrison

By Kory Wilcoxson

If nothing else, British import James Morrison has quite the eclectic musical pedigree. He shares a name with the enigmatic Doors singer and looks like a cross between Bob Dylan and Coldplay's Chris Martin. While he may not yet be in league with any of those musical forefathers, Undiscovered shows that he's not far behind.

Morrison takes his place in line with the horde of male singer-songwriters who seem to have come out of the woodwork following John Mayer's success. But what Morrison offers is a far cry from vanilla pop. His voice is the combination of whiskey-soaked soul and a smoker's rasp, not unlike Rod Stewart before he got old (although on "One More Chance," Morrison sounds, oddly enough, much like Sade).

At first it might seem a bit odd to hear a white boy from England singing like Otis Redding, but it becomes quickly apparent that Morrison is the real deal. The opening track, "Under the Influence," a catchy clap-along bar song, paves the way for a trip through blues ("You Give Me Something"), rock ("Call the Police") and even a touch of gospel ("Undiscovered").

Morrison deserves a better fate than to be lumped in with others of his ilk. This album is solid and keeps delivering after repeated listens. In fact, Morrison's voice has a way of making you experience the emotion of songs like "Wonderful World" ("I know that it's a wonderful world/But I can't feel it right now"). He won't be undiscovered for long.

Find out more about Mr. Morrison at www.jamesmorrisonmusic.com.