Some Kind of Crazy

Lyrics by Debbie Morgan
Music by Michael Moon

Album review by Sandra Gibson - 25/11/2015

I recently caught up with Debbie Morgan whose book Disappearing Home I reviewed for Nerve in 2012. She has been writing song lyrics:

"Hollie, the singer, is 17 and loves musical theatre. I heard her singing at a party and asked to write her a song. One year on we have an album. I've written poetry before but never written songs … Towards the end of the project, I began to hear the music as I was writing the song."

The album Some Kind of Crazy features the powerful, mature voice of a seventeen-year-old who also displays the versatility of gentleness and tenderness in this well-sustained sequence of live songs. These are big, narrative numbers that examine the important issues: being oneself/needing others; loss/acceptance; self-assertiveness/tenderness; yearning/moving on; change/resolution, and all done in a way that is musically and lyrically complementary. I used the term sequence because there is sequential narrative within and between the songs, without things being too rigid. There are contrasts in mood throughout. For example, the assertiveness of the opening song, You are the River, is followed by the more inward feeling introduced by the melodic piano in the second song, Some Kind of Crazy. Sometimes this is felt within a song: Wasted moves between introspection and pacey activity. There is also an awareness of the musical hinterland of popular music in the variety of genre in this collection: pop, Motown, soul, country, the torch song, a bit of blues and even some a Capella.

The cohesiveness of Some Kind of Crazy is sustained by the combination of Michael Moon's music, Hollie's strong vocal presence and Debbie Morgan's poetic lyrics. There are compelling surprises like "a scratching of a scream" and "I'm crying in the darkness of your light" or adventurous rhymes like "tulip tree"/"New Orleans". Indeed, the pace of the songs: moving along; hearkening back is reinforced by Debbie's feeling for rhyme's echoing potency.

The last song, Haunted, has childhood's surreal clarity:

Your hand across her shoulder
in a house without glass
her reflection is the moon,
your shadow, the grass.

No clocks on the wall, no pictures in a frame,
just wooden stairs in the top of a tree
knowing whatever is coming
you're coming home to me.

Thus ends the sequence in a mood of gentle resolution and strange, yet-to-reveal itself potential. Cue the next album?

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Sorry Comments Closed

Comment left by Michael Moon on 25th November, 2015 at 19:06
What a great review!...........all that I can say is on the part of everyone involved,thank you.............I am so pleased!!

Comment left by Doreen Mills on 26th November, 2015 at 0:54
I am so proud to know you all as this album is fantastic and a great accolade to all involved in the making...all stars in their own right.

Comment left by marguerite hughes MBE on 26th November, 2015 at 18:17
singing superb and lyrics amazing, deserves the highest acclaim. Suits every mood.