September 26, 2020

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REVIEW: “Wait Until” by Morgan Rickman

Guest contributor Cam Lynn writes an exclusive review of Morgan Rickman's upcoming release "Wait Until".

Returning to Call That Music? Cam Lynn reviews Morgan Rickman’s upcoming track “Wait Until”. Set to be released on October 25th 2019. Cam was fortunate enough to get his laughing ears round the track before it comes out. What did he think about it? Let’s find out!

“Wait Until” is introduced in the ideal way using an intimate, soulful and delicate musical display which foreshadows the rest of the song. It sets you up for a song that’s jam-packed with feel, classic rhythm and playful melody. You’re greeted into this song by chatter that’s at the forefront of the mix whilst a guitar is playing the main motif of the song far away in the background with a tambourine. A lovely, silky Rhodes keys comes in amongst the conversation and accompanies a gospel-esque backing singer that displays a very elegant and controlled vibrato.

After the band stabs in unison to transition into the first verse, we are swiftly introduced to Rickman’s first appearance on vocals. His voice has a very soft yet clear tone to it that floats effortlessly over the rhythms of the back line. Again, I feel this is a fantastic reflection of the relaxed and almost “care-free” nature of the song. Rickman is supported sparingly but tastefully by Jess Lovelock on backing vocals. Already into the first verse, I felt Lovelock’s inclusion on this track gave it immense depth and it was extremely effective when her voice was brought in – not to mention how fantastic the two vocalists sound together in harmony. It’s a great example of “less is more” as she’s not overly present and isn’t always utilised in the song. However when you do hear her voice, it’s one of those extra details that makes a good song a great one. If I had to talk about one thing from the verse sections it would be the PHAT groove coming from Stu Harris (bass) and Ollie Peszynski (drums). It’s a laid back, hip-hop inspired beat with a dragging, subby bass line that sits underneath the kick in an unsurprisingly modern fashion. This groove really fills the spaces in between the more straight-ahead motif and guitar arpeggios that are played by Will Heaton on trombone and Morgan Rickman himself on guitar. The motif that is played by Heaton and Rickman is the repeating melody of the song and is what I considered the hook of the track. It’s a simple yet effective melody that gives the song the bouncy and light-hearted sound. The balance between this catchy hook and the deep, hip-hop rhythm section is spot on and reminds of UK artist Tom Misch. This is because of its carefully placed harmony with catchy hooks as well as a classic hip-hop influence. I love how authentic it is though, particularly with the drums as music like this tends to utilise sampled drums. Peszynski gives the track a life of its own with real character as he sounds at home with this type of music. Instrumentally in the verse, all I can say is – Bravo. Everything knows where it’s supposed to be in the mix and everything understands its role to a T. Expertly put together by Morgan Rickman.

The second section acts more like a section B as opposed to a chorus, but I suppose you could call it either as Rickman is singing the main melody and harmonising with Heaton on trombone as well as following on the guitar. This allows for Heaton to bring slight variations to the melody that are not too obvious but are a very welcome change that I felt was necessary as this section feels like Rickman is much more exposed in this section than in the verse. I understand that this is a section that is supposed to perhaps break up the song slightly, but I would have loved to hear something subtle brought in that’s panned to the left. This is very picky of me because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this section, I just think a harmony from Lovelock would have been more than welcome or perhaps a subtle arpeggio from keys player Jon Pilgrim. The drums bring up the intensity ever so slightly in this section and metaphorically opens up the section by opening up the hi-hats a tiny bit. This is another small building block that builds up this massive structure. Seriously. Every time I listened to the song I found another small detail which kept making this song better for me. Apart from the ending (which we’ll get to shortly), the song is built up off the same (or similar) pattern. The amazing thing is, you barely notice. Little things are sprinkled here and there, some things you never hear again, some things are used throughout a section. For instance, the verse has two major changes from the first one. It’s swelled in by this oscillating synthesiser which then returns later on in the section just once more. Rickman also deploys a palm muted pattern on the guitar that sits nicely underneath his singing. Because it’s a straight pattern, this really accented the drag from that PHAT groove again. Amongst other tiny changes that keeps the listeners interest there, these two techniques make all the difference in this section and is exactly what you’d hope to hear in a second verse. It’s not drastic, the dreamy vocals are still there, the groove is still in full flow. Basically, I’m trying to say I could be here all day talking about the intelligent nuisances of the song because that’s what I think makes this song special. However, I can’t be sat here all day talking about it and I’m not even sure If I’ve picked everything out, even though I’ve listened to it fifty times over.

Heaton and Lovelock then ease us into the last section which is a delightful trombone solo over a handful of new chords that highlight more of Rickman’s taste for extended harmony. Heaton builds up his solo very nicely with some easy-going phrases that ascend into much more busy phrases and almost percussive techniques that make for a very interesting listen. This clearly leads the song into the most energetic section of the song. The song almost could have gotten a bit more of an extra push by having Lovelock and Rickman singing to harmonise underneath the solo. Perhaps stepping up again dynamically would have consequently ruined the groove, which is something you wouldn’t want to mess with in this type of song. However, the finale was fantastically played by Heaton as he really tweaked my ear with some of the fluttering phrases and I enjoyed when it sounded like he was bringing in some “outside” jazz chops. Finally, the band stabs abruptly and we’re “seen out the door” by the bands chatter for the final time, bring Wait Until to a close.

In conclusion, this is a piece of art that Morgan Rickman and Co. should be proud of. When I first heard the song, I just “felt” it and understood it immediately and it made me think about music in today’s world. I think too much music lacks “feel” and it lacks that passion that you might hear in older music. I’m not saying newer music doesn’t have passion, but I felt this song was absolutely packed with “feel” and soul which is a feeling I rarely get. It has that PHAT groove I could bob my head to, it has that catchy melody that will stick in your head and above everything else it was interesting from start to finish. At no point did I think it was missing a major part or that a melody wasn’t strong enough. Not all people will, but I made a genuine connection with this song and I hope it inspires others when they listen to it too. For classic funk and soul fans, for jazz fans and for classic RnB fans – check out Wait Until by Morgan Rickman on the 25th October.

“Wait Until” by Morgan Rickman is set to be released on October 25th 2019. You can follow Morgan on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

This review was written by Cam Lynn, an accomplished bass player and a final year student at the Academy of Music and Sound in Southampton. You can follow Cam on Instagram.

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