Morrison-Williams

Morrison-Williams

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Considering their history, it's rather surprising that bassist Shayne Morrison and singer Clinton Williams are only just now releasing their debut album. Both are former members of Perfect Stranger, and they've been writing songs together since 2000. None of those songs ever made it into the Perfect Stranger's repertoire, though, nor did any of them make the final cut for the movie Alamo -- they submitted material for that soundtrack, but the director opted for an instrumental score. Undaunted, Morrison-Williams landed a deal with the Palo Duro label and released their self-titled debut, an impressive if slightly uneven collection of songs that happily zigzag back and forth over the line that separates country from straight-up twangy guitar pop. The program-opening "My Girl Friday" will have you wondering whether you really did pick up this disc in the country section, but just as quickly you'll decide that you don't care -- the hooks are irresistible and the singing is sharp and sweet. The same is true of the deliriously catchy "Lookin' at the Sun" and the more strictly country "Beautiful Regret," a more-sweet-than-bitter romantic kiss-off. When they try to get anthemic, they sometimes trip over their own grandiloquence, as on the distressingly Alarm-ish "Fighting for Love" and the melodically obvious tear-jerker "I Still Talk to You." But even with its occasional minor missteps, this is a very fun and rewarding album.

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