Allen Morris is a musician from California who has been involved with music since an early age. He is a multi-instrumentalist, a songwriter and a singer. Last year he used the moniker Alpha Particles and on his most recent effort Fly By Wire he just used his name.
The name change seems to be prompted by his stylistic change. It’s not a complete departure from his previous work but it’s certainly a change nonetheless. Morris prefers clean guitars or distortion on Fly By Wire and also veers more towards straight pop rather than grunge/alternative.
I enjoyed both styles but I think this style fits him a tad better. The songwriting is consistently good and the recording quality is top notch. Suffice it to say it’s an enjoyable album and wasn't one you had to work for. The first time I heard it I knew I would enjoy it.
He opens with “You’re Not Around” which is a straightforward pop song. Morris strums chords and sings “Maybe a friend, maybe something more Maybe I can’t say But still sometimes I think of you Now that you’ve gone away.” The drums and bass come in right before the two-minute- mark and add quite a bit of energy to the already infectious song.
The palatable pop melodies continue with “Interstate” and “Circles” which follows a similar vibe and feel to the opener. “Same Old Dream” was the song that caught my attention because of the strumming style and walking bass line. I was reminded of the band The Decemberist. The honky tonk style works wonderfully on the song. “Highway One” is another solid with an undercurrent of melancholy that falls more in line with a band like Bright Eyes.
Morris keeps it a little more simple with “Wind In My Hair” where he implements acoustic guitar and shakers while “Missing You” and “The Drifter” are infectious pop songs. Morris closes with “When The Rain Starts To Fall” which had exceptional slide guitar and is arguably the most emotionally resonant song on the album.
Morris has talent from head to toe. Fly By Wire didn’t throw me any curve balls but the songs hit the mark. The new style fits him well. Recommended.
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