𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 - this week: I.O.U. - Philip Morgan Lewis
Welcome all to 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connolly - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of 𝙉𝙚𝙬 𝘼𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙩 𝙎𝙥𝙤𝙩𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 playlists.
𝙄.𝙊.𝙐. - 𝙋𝙝𝙞𝙡𝙞𝙥 𝙈𝙤𝙧𝙜𝙖𝙣 𝙇𝙚𝙬𝙞𝙨
Charles gets the feeling he owes you…
Ordinarily, yesterday would have been just another day. The start of a new week. A humble Monday. For me, it is the day that I write my weekly “review” (or article/piece/column/chunk o’ woyds/cushion of praise). And in this respect it was no different. But this time around, the day of the week was somewhat irrelevant. It was Valentine’s Day. Or probably soon to be called International Love Day - for fear of offending the dumb-dumbs who just don’t understand. Love Day was traditionally the day that forced men to go out and buy a bunch of flowers and a cheap box of chocs from the petrol/gas station, for the woman waiting at home for a bunch of flowers and a cheap box of chocs from the petrol/gas station. Nowadays, of course, due to equality and our modern culture shift… little has changed. Perhaps these days the “other half” is equally moved to “show their affection” in a similar manner. And so, we end up with two bunches of flowers and two cheap boxes of chocs, that frankly no one wanted in the first place. It takes a very clever society indeed to play on one’s guilt, where it is not so important what one does, as the feeling of guilt if one doesn’t do. It is a tick box.
Let’s imagine for a moment, that we are talking about TRUE love. You know, like in the films/movies. Hollywood Love (now if that’s not a Netflix title, I don’t know what is). Let’s say we are given to putting ourselves in second place, and our partners on a pedestal, cast in gold. A situation where love is not a thing to be forced in plastic every February 14th, but something that truly comes naturally, at all times, without trying. Where the feeling simply never goes away. A dreamy kind of love. The guilt may still be lodged in its nook, but only because you feel the love of your life is worth more than you could ever offer. All you want is for them to be content and happy. They must come first, no matter what. It is a queer feeling. Is it love? Is it guilt? If guilt, then why? What have you done? What have you NOT done? Chances are, you are absolutely fine and everything is peachy. But there is this over-riding feeling that even if you were to buy two dozen roses for your idol on an entirely different day of the year, just because LOVE, it would still not be enough. Why do we get like this? Maybe WE don’t!! Maybe I am just rambling about something that doesn’t exist. Who knows. But for me personally, there is a feeling of owing. Perhaps they deserve all this and more. Perhaps they are horrible creatures who just take, take, take, and don’t deserve any of it at all. I like to think of it as the former. For me personally, I KNOW it is the former. Because it is written in stone, God said so, and that is that. Hmph.
Love is a wondrous thing. It swings both ways, as it were. A little give and take is all that is needed. No day should concrete and solidify a relationship. And certainly not one SPECIFIC day, once a year, commanded from on high. But still, I like the DAY. Sometimes we mere humans need a push every once in a while. Life can get in the way, and love can sometimes be taken for granted. At the risk of sounding like a preachy hippie, I will say this. To find true love is rare. It is more than comfort and stability. It transcends all. As Bryan Ferry once sang, it is a drug. We are told that drugs are bad, but this is the only one worth diving into. The Good Drug (another decent Netflix title).
My lover is not the only one I feel I owe. An artist by the name of Philip Morgan Lewis is very much long overdue applause from me in my Corner. For the music he has quietly and brilliantly been making, I owe him at least that. Despite Philip having released an excellent brand new single just a week ago, I wanted to go back half a year to a single from his most recent album (Now + Then). This is simply because I am aware how much goes into an album, and I wanted to give it the time and praise that it deserves, with emphasis on my personal favourite, I.O.U.. I also feel I owe YOU - the reader - this review, as it will raise your awareness (raising awareness is such a popular theme these days) to a great, professional artist who maybe doesn’t get the attention he deserves.
In a perfectly tailored dinner jacket (tuxedo, for you impertinent Americans), Macallan at the ready, one eye half-cocked, I sit at the Baccarat table, unsure of the balance. Opposite me is a man who has the air of owning the entire casino. Do I bluff? Why, this man has an ace up his sleeve. He slips it out as the camera zooms to its heart until the whole screen is Technicolor red. Roll the credits: it’s Bond time in music, as love takes a darker turn. Normally I am good at differentiating instruments, but after having played this intro countless times, I am unable to work out if the bumping ride is backed by cellos or deep horns. Either way, it is horn-ting. We have but two brief, dry guitar squeals before the underlying song’s beat is present. Right away, Philip is here to take us through. A voice a little like Adam Levine (of Maroon 5 fame) and a lottle like Mick Hucknall (of Simply Red fame) has just the right amount of intrigue. It suggests a man who knows what he’s talking about, from experience. A certain yearning almost like a warning: “I’ve been there and it’s not a pretty place” sorta thang. Subtle horns sweep in softly like a ghostly shadow through the crack of a door ajar. Again, that occasional dry guitar squeals to keep us on our toes and protect us from nearby birds of prey; invisible, but deadly nevertheless. Duplicate voices appear in unison and in harmony to echo Michael Jackson’s tight vocal pads. This Londoner is slinky as hell in his attitude and his performance. Finally, a fellow Londoner! As we swing into the chorus with one confident arm, Philip makes positivity from the minor key. Despite the evident influence from John Barry (of Bond fame), this track really is pretty darned original.
Resurfacing from the catchy-as-hell chorus, the guitar pops into the spotlight for a tight picking session (no nose jokes), while backed by deep horn stabs with piano for extra richness. As Philip’s voice lends us a few more words of wisdom, it feels as though the room is smaller and we are battling with the occasional hungry bat - each being another guitar squawk. Philip’s scrawny thinness in tone is what gives the song an overall sense of urgency and danger, and it is so absolutely fabulous! The whole album is utterly worth your full attention. The immersion is instant as he spoils us with 18 tracks!
Yesterday I left my lover a note that read “I.O.U.” - I must now dash to the petrol station for the mandatory she-knows-what. Ah shucks: I’m all outta gas…
Listen to 𝙄.𝙊.𝙐. on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Spotify playlist HERE!
Listen to 𝙄.𝙊.𝙐. on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Apple Music playlist HERE!
Listen to 𝙉𝙤𝙬 + 𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙣 on Spotify HERE!
Listen to 𝙉𝙤𝙬 + 𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙣 on Apple Music HERE!
Follow 𝙋𝙝𝙞𝙡𝙞𝙥 𝙈𝙤𝙧𝙜𝙖𝙣 𝙇𝙚𝙬𝙞𝙨 on Instagram HERE!
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