After breaking into the mainstream in 2006, James Morrison’s new Greatest Hits album shows why he’s an artist with staying power. He explains why – 15 years into the game – he’s finally writing the music that he wants to make.
James Morrison wanted to write a new album, but ended up making a Greatest Hits instead, he tells Headliner from his home studio in Gloucestershire. Today the countryside, he adds, “smells like cow poo and possibility”.
At the time of writing, he’s about a week away from starting the UK leg of his Greatest Hits tour, and he’s in a mischievous mood. It’s hard to know what to expect when meeting someone that has been crooning at you from the airwaves since 2006. A sensitive soul-searcher with slightly insipid, auto pilot responses? Perhaps, after over 15 years, a sense that he’s going through the motions? Maybe even a trace of arrogance?
As soon as he lunges into the conversation with, “I know, funny innit?” when Headliner confesses to listening to his debut album, Undiscovered in the car more times than it was healthy when it came out, and then noting how outdated the concept of listening to a CD in a car sounds today, it’s immediately clear that he’s none of these things.
He’s here today to talk about his upcoming tour and new album, and noticeably lights up when talking about performing on stage, connecting with audiences again, and his band – many of whom he’s worked with since 2008.
The rest of the time, he doesn’t take himself too seriously, is often playful (at one point he suggests Headliner duets with him on Broken Strings – “I’m not too judgy!”), self-deprecating, and occasionally interrupts his own train of thought.