A spiritual message sung in a plaintive tenor, 'Zither' sets the tone of the album, which ranges from delicate acoustic finger-picking to storming, effects-laden, electric guitar blow-outs. Beyond playing all the guitars and keyboards heard on the record, Morgan proves himself a supple, earnest vocalist -- evocative of a less melodramatic Jeff Buckley or the younger Sting -- wrapping righteous socio-political convictions in Rundgrenesque Anglo-pop confections such as 'Wake Up Freedom,' 'Falling Down,' and 'Blood Red.' The industrial-strength 'Bottom Line' and the shuffling 'I Get Around' are both tied into the album's titular concerns. 'In 'Bottom Line,' the music business is just a metaphor,' says Morgan. 'Our whole society is built on the idea that if you work real hard, you might get a break. But then you realize that it's not how hard you try, it's about how much you can sell yourself.' The jazzy, minor-key 'Pollution Blues' addresses burning ecological issues with a blazing guitar fade that parallels and echoes the fiery images and fretgrinding exit found in 'Falling Down.' A gently percussive 'Nov 26, 2004' serves as a peaceful refuge from the album's opening salvo. 'That song is designed to be a palate-cleanser,' explains Morgan, 'as if it were the last cut on the first side of the album, which -- in the case of the vinyl version of The Ambition Tax -- it is.' Underscoring the album's release date, the flamenco-flavored '4th Of July' is -- in Morgan's words -- 'meant to be celebratory, but narcissism keeps creeping into the picture, leading to the singlemindedness that plagues this country,' as evidenced in the National Anthem-quoting vocal refrain that erupts out of the parade drumming-driven 'Amerika.' The album's closing tracks, the inexorably building 'Close' and the pop standard-inspired 'In The Heart,' are love songs that yearn for a simpler life that remains tantalizingly out of reach ... for now. For further information, go to cameronmorgan.com.
You May Also Like
Page 1 of