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Maren Morris

Maren Morris – 2016 (Sony Nashville)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Maren Morris

After going the indie route in her native Texas, Maren Morris releases a five-song EP to serve as an intro for the hoped for masses. Morris, who has penned songs for Tim McGraw and Kelly Clarkson, starts off with the edgier sounding "My Church." With an easy-going pace, Morris is elastic with her words, puts a bit of twang and gospel feel into her delivery and sings with authority when she asks "Can I get a hallelujah?/Can I get an amen?" But her salvation is FM radio - "When I play the highway FM/I find my soul revival/Singing every single verse/Yeah I guess that's my church."

"80's Mercedes" is more of the bright sounding, highly produced, pop-based country. Morris sings powerfully, but such lyrics as "I'm a '90s baby in an '80s Mercedes" are cringe worthy.

And then she goes neo-hip hop, funky, reggae with "Drunk Girls Don't Cry" about it being time to "clean house" of the guy, aka "trash." Morris tackles the blues a la Bonnie Raitt on the laid back "I Wish I Was," but Morris certainly has none of the grit and lived it feel that Raitt brings to the table.

The EP is an intro to Morris, who is all over the musical map. Morris apparently still is trying to determine just what kind of music she wants to play.