Andrew Morgan is the newest artist to enter the world of orch-pop, with his debut album Misadventures in Radiology. I like a good album title and this one cracks me up. It of course begs the question: What sort of misadventures can you have in radiology? I’m not sure, but my imagination runs rampant. Perhaps clues can be plumbed from the title song, or perhaps I am being too literal.
Mr. Morgan was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and it is immediately obvious that his parents had a very formative effect on their son’s music career. His father played in a British styled band, while his mother is a founding member of the Kansas City Beatles Fan Club (I wonder if that club still holds meetings…). His mother had him sitting at the piano while his father put a guitar into his hands. It seems that rather than pick one, he has combined these and many other instruments into his music.
Misadventures in Radiology was plagued by disaster and faced the very real possibility of never seeing the light of day. Besides the usual money problems, production ceased when Andrew lost his hearing for six weeks after being caught up in a tornado. Judging from the Wizard of Oz, this sort of thing seems to happen a lot in Kansas. Andrew has a voice and style similar to that of Ed Harcourt or the late, great, Elliott Smith. This is no surprise, since it turns out the Elliott was a fan and supporter of Morgan. The two men became friends over a similar love for music and Smith allowed him to record part of the album at his studio for free.
The way the album starts, you may think that you made a mistake and bought a classical album. The prologue is a simple arrangement of cellos and violins, and within a few moments, the Brit-pop sound kicks in. Andrew does a good job of arranging inviting pop song filled with piano, cello, and violin (was that a dulcimer I heard on the title track?) and an amazing debut that spotlights his sad angelic voice. My only criticism is that I would like see him try a song with more a “rock” feel. Actually, that’s not a criticism, just a personal request because I think if he took that direction the second time around; it could lead to some remarkable misadventures.