New tracks like first Single Summer Rain are reminiscent of Hey, Soul Sister (Train) and the even-stronger Still Tonight are safely aimed to the hearts of a mature Pop Audience and Adult Contemporary Radio Stations. Hey - one of two co-written contributions from N Sync’s JC Chasez - draws inspiration from the Islands like Summer Rain, a good sound for Morrison’s pristine Tenor. The other Chasez contribution Don’t Stop Dancing, is one of few moments the Disc veers remotely towards the up-tempo and this might be a little disappointing for some Glee Fans who have enjoyed some harder-hitting performances from Morrison.
The strength of the Disc lies in its three marquee Covers and this is both good and bad - good in that Morrison’s Guest Vocalists push him to work that extra bit harder; bad in that he is outshined in the end result. Even worse is that the original material we get here simply isn’t remarkable enough to launch a successful solo Career. This becomes even more obvious considering that we know what Morrison vocally is capable of on a weekly basis. Above this, the Listener gets a sense that artistically he is still figuring out his own musical strengths, sounding like a different Vocalist from track to track.
Perhaps he’s distanced himself a little too far from his Bread & Butter? This appears to be a carefully-calculated move which seems now to have backfired. Case in point, Morrison's recently-announced Solo Tour has been cancelled due to low ticket sales while the Glee Live! In Concert! Tour on the contrary, has gone on to perform exceedingly well. One thing I find peculiar is that Morrison fails to acknowledge anything Glee-related in the Disc’s Liner Notes. Not even a mere “thank you”.
This Album definitely could’ve waited a bit longer and I think even Morrison is realizing this now. The problem here definitely is not the Artist – it’s the Material. Universal Music Canada releases Matthew Morrison, now in stores. Grade: C+