Call It In (Super Secret)
REVIEWED BY GREG BEETS, FRI., FEB. 2, 2018
Fresh off the homegrown James Arthur’s Manhunt, Virginia-bred multi-instrumentalist Sean Morales’ solo debut prioritizes the right feel over high definition. The album’s rough veneer is indicative of its single-occupancy origins, but Morales’ rich songcraft and compelling arrangements exude a warm human scale that never veers into obscurity for its own sake. Leading with a cover burns in the less-traveled road at the outset, Chris Spedding’s “Video Life” crackling with heady effervescence. The title track flips the mood to dark noir with growling, flanged vocals and a menacing riff, and multiple songs start with acoustic blues before leaping in different directions. The contemplative country-blues of “Bring Me Home” evokes the troubled soul of Skip Spence. Utility guitarist and saxman Jonathan Horne of Young Mothers makes over Faust instrumental “Party 1” as a slow-building traffic jam to close.