Following the release of James (aka Jim) Guthrie's first solo collection, A Thousand Songs, there was a three-year wait for a follow-up, but Guthrie was also a busy guy, touring with the band Royal City, which recorded two well-received alternative country-rock albums. Going solo again, Guthrie's Morning Noon Night features more traditional songwriting and production than his debut, with pretty much every track fully fleshed out, and most of them (after the electronic tease of the opening track) fitting a pretty traditional pop/rock mold. This is all the more amazing when you consider that a hefty chunk of the album was put together by Guthrie on. . .his Playstation. That's right, half of the album's songs were constructed using a program known as MTV Music Generator. That the electronic opening cut was one of them is no surprise, but the other tracks recorded this way don't stand out as oddities in any way, but sit fairly easily next to the songs recorded in the more traditional way. One nice thing about the cleaner songcraft is that the words are so much more upfront on Morning Noon Night, and you start to notice Guthries clever-but-bent tendencies as they slip out; on "Evil Thoughts" he sings "If I were me, I'd follow my heart," and in "Virtue" he claims "the last virtue I heard / was something about the song-singing birds / or was it something about bird is the word?" It's not quite up to the same level of appeal Guthrie would achieve with his following record, but after the scattershot nature of A Thousand Songs, Morning Noon Night was still a great leap forward.
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AllMusic Review by Sean Carruthers