Born a left-handed child of an American single mother in Paris, singer-songwriter, Sean McMorris graduated in Economic Social Studies in France, and then went on to attend the Berklee College of Music with a letter of recommendation from none other than Leonard Bernstein, before dropping out a year later. He returned to college and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Drumming from City College (CCNY), before embarking on performing around NYC as a solo singer-songwriter, and drummer for the Lazy Lions. In 2013 he dropped his debut solo album “Lo & Behold”, and in 2015 followed it up with the album “Elevated Man”. 2019 sees Sean McMorris reappear with his brand new album “C’est la vie”.
I really enjoy music that reflects the artist, not artists that reflect the music. Sean McMorris’ songwriting and lyrics are impeccable, and this album aptly illustrates his immense ability. Put it on and let it play through. Every track is great, one of his best to showcase his songwriting capabilities.
Sean is an amazing talent whose rough edges only make his brilliance shine brighter. This is an important record. Not just for a Sean McMorris fan to have, but for any fan of genuine music. The first three songs alone are worth 5 stars alone.
For example, if you listen to the amazing opening track “Don’t You Let It” on headphones, you can crank up the volume to hear the beautifully layered acoustic guitars and shimmering keyboards. And when Dave Gregory’s guitar solos slide in, it’s quite euphoric.
Guest guitarist Dave Gregory of XTC and Big Big Train, appears on 4 tracks on this album. The sound of this album is primarily rock, emotionally strong, and upbeat, so expect driving and intense arrangements like the title track, “C’est la Vie” and the guitar crunch of “Strong and Gentle Hands”, which again features Gregory’s six-string.
First these songs excite you. Then they leave you gently melancholic. Then they make you blissfully nostalgic. I’m talking about the triad of tracks that comprise “Vortex”, “Never to be Heard Again” and “She Spins a Revolution”. They invigorate you to the degree that you know this is more than just entertainment.
Once more, Sean shows maturity both in his guitar style as well as his singing voice, which is in fine form. It helps of course that he is playing alongside a bunch of highly competent musicians such as Christian Cassan, Bennet Paster, Thad Debrock, Richard Feridun, and the aforementioned Dave Gregory.
As we move ahead through the album, the quality of the compositions, lyrics, creativity, musicianship, and vocals is of the highest tier. “Winds of Love”, “The Yearning”, “No Ordinary Life” and “Crazy” should be spiritedly embraced in the same pantheon of music as his more famous peers.
Eloquent and poignant the motifs of “The Yearning”, upbeat and jangly the tones of “Winds of Love”. Throughout Sean McMorris seems to be in a comfort zone that makes the record feel more complete. All things considered, Sean has yet again put together a fine record that proves his consistently excellent knack for song-craft.
In a music industry where mindless pop clogs our charts, a musician such as Sean McMorris is more than a breath of fresh air. That he will build momentum and popularity over time should be inevitable…in a perfect, just world.
Unfortunately we’re stuck in this impaired one – C’est la vie! Luckily Sean McMorris is right where he needs to be artistically – a top notch singer and songwriter, at the height of his game. He is a wonderful artist, and I couldn’t possibly love this album more.