With his 2006 debut 'Undiscovered', James Morrison astutely inhabited the musical cavity that had been opened with the likes of soul-pop singer Corinne Bailey Rae and mainstream folk-rocker KT Tunstall. It was an album of middling proportions; on one hand, the young Englishman clearly had a voice with character. On the other, he was using it to sing songs that were unapologetically bland. That didn't stop its first single, 'You Give Me Something', from becoming a worldwide hit, though; the 'undiscovered' singer was now very much known by listeners of daytime radio.
To that effect, Morrison - or more accurately, Morrison's record company - have used their sway to entice some big names to the second album: pop everyman Ryan Tedder co-wrote a song here, and Nelly Furtado also guests on a duet. Does it make a difference, though? No, not really. They may have called in the big guns, but 'Songs for You, Truths for Me' is as lyrically (and mostly musically) vacant as its predecessor.
Like Ray LaMontagne-lite, Morrison's raspy vocals are initially a pleasing element to this album - but monotony creeps in before long, and it's evident that the youngster isn't all that talented at channelling real emotion through his corny soul pastiches.
True, opener The Only Night's peppy piano and guitar-led bar-pop is listenable, as are Precious Love and the Duffy-esque Nothing Ever Hurt Like You; but they're negated by the truly awful ballads like Once When I Was Little, You Make It Real and Love Is Hard. Even Furtado's contribution on the moody Broken Strings is inconsequential. The only truth here is that this is music that's easier to ignore, than it is to get angry about - and that's the best that James Morrison can hope for. Bland.