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{Review} Maren Morris EP

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Maren Morris has delivered a collection of songs with her latest EP that makes a statement. She’s not catering to any format or preconceived notions of what music should be.  Outside the box, outside the lines, but straightforward with how good it all is.  Elements of pop, rock, soul, and country coalesce into a potent mixture that is completely Maren Morris.  I first saw Maren Morris around a campfire at LJT at least a decade ago.  She was just a young girl at the time, but she already had a commanding presence and a distinctive vocal style.  I’d go on to see her intermittently at random DFW haunts and always walked away impressed.  A few years back Morris moved to Nashville to pursue songwriting opportunities.  She joined fellow expats such as Mando Saenz, Ben Danaher and Ryan Beaver in making waves in Music City by bringing their sharp independent outlooks to the matters at hand.  During her time in Tennessee, Morris has developed a strong sense of artistry and confidence.  It shows in this EP.  “My Church” is the lead track and is a hit if I’ve ever heard one.  If country radio doesn’t embrace this tune, they’re even more clueless than we thought.  It’s about the cathedral of the open road with good tunes blaring and how that can solve just about any problem one may have.  “I Wish I Was” has the boozy grooviness of Bonnie Raitt and recalls the mid 2000’s Americana effort of Maggie Brown’s “Used Cars”.  The spitfire humorous honesty of “Drunk Girls Don’t Cry” is revealing, witty and charming.  Morris’s songwriting voice reminds of Kacey Musgraves a tad, but she delivers the tunes with more range and attitude.  The arrangements slant a bit towards pop sensibilities but that doesn’t make them any less real or cool.  Maren Morris is going places and this is a collection of songs to take note of.

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