James Morrison on the death of his father, making “real” music

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Many of the more personal songs on James Morrison’s latest effort, “The Awakening,” were inspired by the death of his father, Morrison recently shared with The Guardian . Despite their somewhat strained relationship, due to his father’s alcoholism, Morrison says they were close until the end:

“I was always friends with my dad. It’s been written that we had a strained relationship, but I talked to him about everything.”

Consumed by grief, (the article says “Morrison lay in bed and cried” for six weeks after his father’s death), he turned that emotion into some beautifully haunting music. “In My Dreams,” is a heartbreaking wish to not just see the lost loved one again, but to relive the innocent moments of childhood. Perfectly suited to his voice (Morrison sounds eerily reminiscent of Stevie Wonder at times and more than ever on that song), it’s one of the albums greatest notes.

Still, Morrison’s success has surprised him:

“I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was pleased with the songs, ‘cos I thought they were more in the direction I wanted to go, and I had a sense that I was doing what I wanted to again. But I didn’t know how it’d do, because apart from Adele and Noah and the Whale, there are very few people doing real music at the moment.”

He might be a relative unknown on US pop radio, but Morrison’s “The Awakening” has already sold 500,000 copies, a hopeful indication that the music industry does have a place for musicians like him.

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