Album Review: Morning World by Teen Daze

At the risk of stating the obvious, the introduction of vocals into a piece of music completely changes the nature of it. For instance, a passage of instrumental music, which may be a rich and complex when taken on its own, can be relegated to the mere role of intro or instrumental break once the focal point is shifted to the sung portion. If ‘Morning World’ were to be judged as an instrumental work then it would get top marks. However, it is in fact a collection of songs, and on that basis the results are a little mixed.

Teen Daze (otherwise known as simply Jamison) is certainly a gifted composer, and when all the elements fall into place the results are solid gold. So it is with songs like the title track, with its lilting synths, subtle guitars and pleasant melody, and “Along”, where the vocals sound for all the world like David Gilmour (or even Richard Wright) from early ’70s Pink Floyd. Elsewhere, unfortunately, some of the tunes just meander off into soft pop blandness, such as on “It Starts at the Water” and “Pink”, although the music itself and the instrumentation is always intriguing, so none of the tracks are a complete miss.

Jamison’s voice is very soft, much like Sam Beam’s (Iron & Wine). It can be captivating when it carries some lyrical heft and when the melody is fresh (as on the aforementioned album standouts). Another plus is that it is never grating, even when the material is less than stellar. However, his voice is so light that it can simply drift away and float out of your consciousness, which is exactly what happens a little too often on ‘Morning World’.

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