Album Review: ‘We Move’ by James Vincent McMorrow

It’s finally here! We Move is now out and already topping the charts. James Vincent McMorrow has really shown his true colors with this album. Each song is innovative, honest, and an exact representation of who he is as an artist. Hence why we are giving his third studio album such rave reviews.

As stated on McMorrow’s official website, “We Move is ultimately a record open in its portrait of anxiety and social unease. For McMorrow, it’s about celebrating mental fragility – and how we move forward in life – rather than ‘people listening to my songs and believing that I’m out in the forest all day long, thinking about trees. Because I’m actually at home, trying to convince myself to go out and get milk.'”

This album is unlike McMorrow’s other two albums. We Move is much more laid-back and shows a lot more vulnerability. He has really strayed away from any stereotypes or things he has done in the past, and he is releasing music fearlessly. McMorrow has hinted on Twitter, in the tweet below, that it has taken him a while to figure out who he is as an artist and now he believes this album finally represents who he wants to be and where he wants to go in his career. We Move has shown the world exactly who McMorrow is and how he is not afraid to be himself.

 

McMorrow is a very talented musician, but he didn’t create this album all on his own. After traveling the world, he asked some producers to help him with his third album. Producers like Nineteen85 (who has worked with Drake), Two Inch Punch (who has worked with Years & Years and Sam Smith), Frank Dukes (who has worked with Rihanna and Kanye West), Jimmy Douglass, and Ross Dowling, all took part in helping James create We Move.

Each song on We Move is especially unique and holds a special meaning. Therefore, we have broken down the album track by track and reviewed each piece.

1. Rising Water

“Rising Water” was the first single off of We Move and it was released back in July. Being one of the more upbeat songs on the album, “Rising Water” is simple, but so powerfully produced that you can’t help experiencing a wave of energy through your body. As said by McMorrow, the song represents the idea that hes “was never sad about what he has done”. Being the first track on the album, “Rising Water” is the perfect preview for the songs later to come.

2. I Lie Awake Every Night

This song is a lot slower and stripped down than “Rising Water”. With there only being a soft-drum beat in the background, McMorrow’s vocals are put on full display for listeners to savor and appreciate. The whole song is pure, soft, and melodic to the point where the chorus is bone-chillingly great.

On his website, McMorrow explains why the meaning of the song is so heavy and emotional. He is singing about his lifelong battle with an eating disorder. His words tell the story of his young self, lying in a hospital bed, thinking he doesn’t need to be there. With every word he sings you can tell he is singing from his heart, from a place full of emotion. This song pulls you in and allows you to really get inside of McMorrow’s head, which is something few artists have been able to achieve in just a three minute song.

3. Last Story

“Last Story” is the kind of song you expect to be in every romance movie. The song only has a simple beat as the lyrics are stealing the spotlight. The lyrics are, “Swear to God/I’d run for you/You’d find me waiting/Then we’d start over/It sounds so easy/Cause it’s the last story/We’ll ever read/So lets start over/It sounds so easy.” The beat of the song rarely changes and McMorrow doesn’t hit any crazy high notes. That’s a good thing as it gives the listener time to take in the story being told, take in the tone in his voice, and take in the emotions he’s feeling.

4. One Thousand Times

Like “Rising Water”, the fourth song on We Move has more of an upbeat tempo. It is a love song describing how McMorrow is lost without someone’s love. Just like the rest of the tracks, this song is unique and shows vulnerability. The lyrics, the beat, the backing vocals, and James’s vocals, all make for one impeccable record.

5. Evil

Evil is about questioning whether or not you are a bad person for seeing life differently from other people. You may think the song is supposed to be dark or grim, when in fact, McMorrow describes the song as celebratory. With the faster beat and almost haunting background vocals, this song is perceived as dynamic and compelling.

6. Get Low

“Get Low” is the second single off of We Move and it was released about two weeks before the album. This song utilizes a bit of guitar and a soft drum beat; simple, but perfect. The tone of the track is almost relaxing. This is the kind of song you just want to listen to while reading a good book and sipping on a hot drink.

7. Killer Whales

This song was released exactly nine days before the album. McMorrow specifically released this song early because it “speaks to him” and he “didn’t want it to get lost in the album shuffle”. In our opinion, it definitely won’t get lost. Many people may not give it a chance considering it is a much slower song and it is five minutes long, however, if you take the time to listen to the track, you will come to realize how beautiful of a song it is. We definitely think this song is the underdog of the album. It may be lost in the shuffle, but it is a true representation of McMorrow’s talent and we can tell how much thought, time, and hard-work was put into every word and beat.

8. Seek Another

“Seek Another” is a much more musically complex song and we can tell it required much more production than some of the other tracks. However, it still highlights McMorrow’s incredible voice and the emotions behind his words. This song is very different than what James has done in the past, but in this case change is good.

9. Surreal

“Surreal” is an especially soulful song. This track has an R&B vibe and some very heavy lyrics. Some of the lyrics are, “But I’m so unstable/That I begin to leave/Still holding this cage/I have dragged in corpses/Warmth on their lips/As evidence of life/I have found their voices/Hard to resist/Even when they lie”. This song has a deep meaning and it brings you to a different place. Whether you want that place to be good or bad, “Surreal” touches you and makes you think. And we love that.

10. Lost Angles

“Lost Angles” is the final song on We Move. We think McMorrow has saved the best for last. In our opinion, this song is the most vulnerable, honest, and relatable out of all the songs. He is describing how hard it is to find yourself and how dealing with doubt is troubling. When McMorrow repeats “Don’t let fear control you” eight times, you realize he has struggled with his own battles for a long time just like the rest of the world. Connecting to your audience on an emotional level is so important when writing songs and he has done a great job of that with “Lost Angles”.

Want our final opinion of We Move?

We give it a big, fat, double thumbs up.

McMorrow has proven to us that less is always more. We love the whole stripped-back vibe to his album and just how emotionally vulnerable he has made himself in every song. This album is impeccably produced, but the meaning behind the album is what we really love-

“It’s a remarkably assured collection, informed by this idea that you might not have to listen to others when they tell you how they think life is supposed to go; and that as you grow up, you lose things along the way. Rather, We Move suggests it’s possible to keep what you want to keep, and lose what you want to lose.” (via jamesvmcmorrow.com)

This album is definitely McMorrow’s best one yet. It displays anxiety, regret, jealousy, honesty, vulnerability, insecurity, and so much more. Not to mention, it is musically and lyrically stunning. We Move is only the third chapter in James’s career and we already know this is not the end of his story. And we can’t wait to see what’s to come.

What do you think of We Move? Do you have a favorite song? Tweet us @CelebMix to let us know!

To read more about James Vincent McMorrow, click here. Also, follow him on Twitter @jamesvmcmorrow or on Instagram @jamesvmcmorrow, and make sure to buy his new album, We Move, which is out now on iTunes, Spotify, and Soundcloud. It is also available in CD and vinyl on his website or in a store near you.

Written by CelebMix