Jason Morphew

Not for the Faint of Heart!

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Jason Morphew had transplanted himself to California by the time he recorded the songs on Not for the Faint of Heart!. He had already started a word-of-mouth buzz for his startlingly honest indie folk songs while living and recording songs in Arkansas and on the East Coast. This 20-track disc showcases Morphew's eccentric personality and graceful musical style. With the line, "I wish they all could be L.A. girls" (from the first track, "Figueroa Feelings"), the music is noticeably lighter than the songs on 1997's Transparent, and the lyric is instantly reminiscent of "California Girls." On "Getting Ready to Go," Morphew sings in a high-pitched croon. His voice is powerful in a different way than many of his indie rock peers. His sly wit and folk-rock roots meld with his undeniable showmanship. Upbeat songs like "Yours" are followed by blues songs like "That Boy Could Sing," creating an up-and-down tempo throughout the disc. The most impressive sequence might be tracks 13 and 14, "Elvis Was a Mama's Boy" and the title track, "Not for the Faint of Heart." Both tracks highlight Morphew's uncanny sense of melody and his ability to translate the bare bones of human emotion in both upbeat and downbeat musical settings. The songs are certainly less melancholy than his previous efforts. Brian Abel performs on guitar and backing vocals on songs throughout, while Matt Snow guests on keyboards and Kim Wheeler and Krissy Clark add more vocals. Tom Sanford appears on keyboards and xylophone. The songs were recorded by Matt Blake and mastered by Jacques Cohen. Ba Da Bing Records released the disc in 2001.

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