Gramps Morgan 2 Sides Of My Heart - Vol. 1

Gramps Morgan 2 Sides Of My Heart - Vol. 1

Fans of family band Morgan Heritage are celebrating the release of keyboardist and backing singer Gramps Morgan's first foray into solo territory. Known for his deep, soulful vocals and gospel-tinged songs, Volume 1 is predictably balanced between matters of the heart and matters of the spirit. The album draws heavily on contemporary R&B ― Gramp's voice fits this genre perfectly ― but remains steeped in the sort of clean new roots riddims we've come to expect from the Morgan family. And it's this type of adult pop-oriented sound that ultimately keeps the album from ever sounding anything more than formulaic. "Roll Call" is an attack on isms and schisms, and "Higher in Love" is indistinguishable from any number of '90s dancehall crooners. "Therapy," an outing with India.Arie, and "Power of Prayer," with Buju Banton, do fair better but the latter's synth strings and churchy confessional tone will leave many listeners wondering if they bought BeBe Winans instead. Still, Gramps does have powerful pipes, and no matter what my tastes are, the guy will still pack in thousands to his shows. (Dada Son)