Morningbell Sincerely, Severely

Morningbell Sincerely, Severely
Florida's Morningbell have changed. Something rather spectacular has happened since their last lacklustre album, because Sincerely, Severely is an impressive record that shows clearly they aren't one trick ponies. It also possesses the same playfulness the band hinted at previously, but this time it comes to fruition and contributes something to the record; it isn't just about a clever song title, although "Hello Dali" does raise a smile. At its heart, Sincerely, Severely is a soul record, as amply demonstrated by slow jams like the title track, with its glorious falsetto delivery, and the sultry "Stay In The Garden." But it goes way beyond that during its generous 14-track duration, throwing in some indie pop, touches of African guitar and a horn section that aren't shy about making their presence known. And the most remarkable thing is that it all holds together. With so many ideas, there are bound to be a few issues. They could have easily jettisoned a couple of songs without any problem and maybe even have created a stronger record, but that's a small complaint about a really good album. Morningbell can consider themselves rehabilitated. (Orange Records of Gainesville)