The pop world was waiting for Rae Morris to breakthrough ever since she dropped her debut Unguarded in 2015. Taking over airy, ambient, reverberating indie pop as her niche, Morris' sound was promising, but not quite where it could have been. That's all changed here. Rae Morris comes into her own in her sophomore LP Someone Out There, complete with brilliant songwriting and melodies to boot.
The best way to avoid a sophomore slump? Stick with what you know to start. Opening track 'Push Me To My Limit' is very reminiscent of her earlier material, living in an airy atmosphere as warm, ambient orchestral synths act as the song's meat. Morris' vocals are pure and calming, sweet and reassuring. After dipping her toes in the water, Morris really lets her true artist take over. 'Reborn' immediately comes in with a staccato synth that bounces curiously as a more driven, focussed vocal comes in. The build is huge and anthemic, coming in for each chorus and never losing its touch. It quickly becomes clear that Morris isn't here to stick by the same formula, as Someone Out There is dynamic and always changing, from beginning to end, with tracks like 'Dip My Toe' to keep things fun towards the end.
Any pop album's best songs are its emotional ones, and Morris has plenty of heartwrenching ballads to make sure she stays on top. 'Wait For The Rain' is gorgeous and tragic, her vocals unique and the instrumental gentle. The lyrics are just as heartbreaking as they are relatable, the first verse chanting "It was 4 in the morning, tears down my face... I tried hard for you baby, no one else mattered." During the chorus, Morris cries out "I cannot wait for the rain to remove this lover's pain / I cannot wait for the rain to come and fill me up again," and the pain and longing in her voice really makes those words spear you through. The second verse becomes even more expressive, the next chorus building powerfully and really letting all the emotions pour out. 'Physical Form' is similarly heartbreaking, though with more drama and more retribution. Instead of sitting in sadness, Morris looking at her partner and asking, "Do your eyes see me where I'm standing? / You're not blind, so why am I invisible," tired of being treated like nothing. The dynamics of the strings and the brooding instrumental make the song even more epic, really giving you a feeling that you can rise up and overcome anything, even love.
No one song on Someone Out There is the same, helping each one make its mark. She knows when to have fun, with tracks like 'Atletico (The Only One)' capturing all that pop goodness with great harmonies to add to its charm. Towards the end of the record she begins taking a bit of a more free-form approach, starting with title track 'Someone Out There.' With just her and a piano to begin, the song feels like her take on Coldplay's 'Fix You.' As various sounds from every day life accent the incredibly sweet song, Morris reassures you that "Someone out there loves you / Someone out there is lonely too" and that you'll find that right person when they come along. 'Rose Garden' follows with a more harmonic take, Morris channeling Björk to make chaos sound beautiful. There really isn't a dull moment on the record.
Rae Morris comes into her own in her sophomore LP Someone Out There, spreading her wings out of her airy indie atmosphere and embracing a new sound, perfectly moving her sound ahead while staying true to heart. With beautiful lyrics, great melodies, and an honest voice, it's safe to say Rae Morris is on the course for something huge.
Favorite Tracks: Wait For The Rain, Physical Form, Reborn, Someone Out There
Least Favorite Track: Dip My Toe
Rating: 89 / 100
Stream or buy Someone Out There on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist: