Teen Daze - Morning World

by Justin Pearson Rating:5 Release Date:2015-08-07

Primarily known as an electronic musician, Teen Daze (or the singly-named Jamison) has tried his hand at proper indie pop with latest release Morning World. The title could be seen as a salutation of sorts as he embarks on his foray, but in the larger context of this genre the album remains slight with its shy hello and revels in a state of contentedness instead of yearning to mingle with other, boundary pushing contemporaries.

There are attempts that come off pretty well, though. 'Pink' is about the renewing power of love. Guitar and drums shuffle along with each other, providing the sturdy backbone to lyrics that would otherwise slip into sappiness: "I climbed above the treelines / And saw the world in new light / Patterns in the sky / Only seen from high above / Oooh, it was love."

A groovy bassline runs underneath shimmering guitar on 'You Said' while bursts of violin intrude upon 'Garden Grove' complimenting Jamison's strongest vocal turn on the album. Strings also appear on 'Along', but this time paired with a female voice repeating "dada da dada da." These three songs together comprise the most promising moment on Morning World's latter half.

But then there are attempts that expose the flaws on tracks that lack distinction and should have been left on the cutting room floor. 'Post Storm' drags with a dullness that's usually reserved for demos, leaving it with the feeling that it's unfinished. Jamison's vocals on title track 'Morning World' are not only timid, but off-key at times, and not in that quirky, loveable way that some singers can get away with. 'Infinity' is a rocker that tries to be hard but fails to convince with an execution that's uninspired.

Although there's not much to love on Morning World, there is still a little to like. It's not a terrible album, and neither is it terrific. It sits somewhere in the middle of radio-friendly pop drivel and cutting edge indie rock. If this is Teen Daze's statement as a singer/songwriter who's leaving the familiar ambient/electronic territory behind, one can only hope this is just practice, or a starting point for a fuller, more developed sound. Fingers crossed.

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