Megan Morrison: MOVIN’ ON

Megan Morrison

by Lenny Stoute

Newest country darlin' on the horizon is the real deal; a rodeo ridin’, calf ropin’ big smilin’ blonde from Holstein, ON. Can’t get much more cow town than that nor more hometown girl than Megan Morrison. The lady’s just dropped her second album, Movin’ On and it shows an artist rolling straight up that blacktop to US success travelled by Shania, Terri Clark and pioneer Anne Murray. It’s trafficking in country pop with loads of citified appeal and a knack for a heart-tugging country lyric.

The album kicks off with the catchy one-two upbeat combo of ‘Everywhere I Go’ and the aptly titled ‘Dancing In The Rain’, then swiftly shifts gears for ‘I Can Love Anyone I Want To’, done with a more defiant edge than the version cut by Nashville alt country comer Cindy Roberts. This pattern pretty much continues throughout, a back and forth between upbeat pop and reflective country balladering.

Even as it pays all the right dues to Nashville, ‘Movin’ On’ comes off as an accomplished sophomore offering with a distinct personality. Producer Joel Feeney gets much credit for shaping the sound and as co-writer of three of the album’s tunes. He keeps a radio-friendly ear on the proceedings without applying too much sheen, which allows Morrison to step outside her persona in embracing the protagonist’s cheeky innuendo in ‘Party Girl’ and the downright gritty perspective of ‘Old Habit Town’.

The album sparkles with sprinkles of fiddle and steel to keep the pop grounded while toeing the Nashville lines. The banging and slyly funny ‘More Time Leaving’ would have made a better album closer than the introspective ‘When I Look To The Sky’ to these ears but that’s a minor thing. Morrison has the major ones wrapped up tight; she’s solidly effective at both top and bottom ends of her range and is a canny songwriter who can only get better.

Folks in the country music know are saying this solid collection will have Morrison ‘movin’ on’ to the next career level and I hear that too.