Morning Fame – “Time Of The Blackened Sun” – Single Review
Always enjoy hearing new stuff from Morning Fame…feels like it’s been a while since last we did! I wonder if they’ve noticed we’ve moved in next door to them in good ol’ Ottawa, not too far away from where they’re based out of in Toronto…and that one day they might just see my bearded face in the crowd sooner than they think. Anyhow…we’re plenty familiar with the music of this reliable four-piece band…I know I am by now after the different opportunities I’ve had to check out their music as they evolved, and I think these guys have a solid sound & sincere approach to their music & careers as musicians, always have.
But THIS. Morning Fame…WHAT is going on here?
I thought I might have a corrupted file at first…usually you can find Morning Fame in the three & a half to five-minute mark range for the length of their tunes…so believe me, I noticed straight away that this track was over six & a half minutes long. Reading into it…you get some of the story behind the narrative and storyline that takes place through the lyrics…but only so much so that you’ll get right into your headphones and strap this one on to find out the rest of what’s behind the mystique.
And quite honestly…it helps a bit…but those vocals are also slightly masked by the music…just in the perfect amount in my opinion. They break through if you’re listening closely throughout the verse, just enough overtop…but as a result, Morning Fame is sounding absolutely HUGE on “Time Of The Blackened Sun.” I like my music HUGE – don’t you? Yeah…yeah ya do. There’s a seriously rad guitar line at the beginning of the track to fuel the verse that nearly sounds straight out of the rock-days of Heart before breaking into a whole combination of more modern styles and sounds you can pick out from Franz Ferdinand, Cold War Kids…or perhaps even the early days of The Cure or U2 at their most aggressive in parts of “Time Of The Blackened Sun” as well. Whatever the recipe, wherever the ideas may come from – you can hear a revitalized version of the band here. Perhaps more modernized in a sense than we’ve heard from Morning Fame, who has more typically aimed for the sweetness of the mid-90’s rock/alternative sound in the past…and here “Time Of The Blackened Sun” tells its tale over a seriously lengthy and transformative landscape that is largely a lot more involved to create, write and record.
But in true Morning Fame style…the musicianship still finds ways to be of equal-importance, stays inventive and completely nails the complexity of keeping a song this ambitious together and entertaining. After its sparkling introduction and star-bright opening, the bass-lines take you straight into this cut smoothly as it all descends towards a verse that is basically the equivalent of one big, gigantic hook. If anything…it outshines the chorus for me in a way…but I also love those bass-lines in the chorus and the way that the song comes roaring back into the verse…it’s a bit push/pull in that sense…something has got to be done to break up a song and I get that…chorus is strong enough, and this is where you get tones of like early R.E.M. or U2 in the guitars, which I like…but yeah, I keep coming back to the verse being the main-hooks you’ll hear in this song. That’s always a little risky…people are usually expecting that ramped-up chorus…but in this particular case, I’ll take what I can get – and I want a lot more of that verse every time this song plays; only because I’m greedy, they’ve done the song due diligence with what’s already included, he said, realistic but begrudgingly and kicked a tumbleweed…
I like where they went with the middle of this track…let it basically become a beautiful display of drums and spoken word, little bit of guitar…and let the story speak. Letting out the perfect line before the music re-sparks to life, the use of space and timing in this part is every bit as crucial, and they nailed it here too. As the music heads into highlights of absolutely incredible, soaring guitar-solos, incredible drum-fills and double-kick rumble…I gotta say…something about this more historical, mythological or storytelling-side of Morning Fame is really doin’ it for me…this is a solid path for them to be on.
Production is spot-on nailed, the writing seems to be completely inspired to search for something new and exciting while still nodding respectfully to where their influences have been guiding them towards, and everything from the vocals to the instruments are sounding confident and perfectly mixed here. If anything, it might be a little bit more towards the progressive-side of what you know from Morning Fame – but they’re more than young enough still to try multiple things in their music. While the hooks on “Time Of The Blackened Sun” might not be as typically mapped out, the ones that are here are very strong, and the level of art & music combining together on this track is an achievement in alternative-music…completely solid effort.
Seriously glad they tried something like this. This works.
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