The second release from the NYC songstress is a complete cover album as Kendra Morris takes on some well known staples of classic rock (and other genre’s) putting her sultry touch upon them. All of the tracks will be instantly recognizable to even casual music fans giving Morris the extra weight of preconceived listener notions. She does a good job dispelling some of that right off the bat.
Opening with David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” Morris plays with her vocals, tracking them both as lead and backup flushing out the song complete with numeric countdown, her delicate touch works nicely on an oft covered tune. The Rolling Stone’s “Miss You” keeps its disco charm but gets injected with a does of funk and swagger. The show stopping cover of Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” is balls out with layers of vocals and smoky keyboards rising to the cosmos.
Not everything is as successful, while she tries to revamp “I’m Gonna Be (500)” into a powerful duet,The Proclaimers tune just isn’t a good match for the style (maybe any style). Draining the drama, steam and angst from Radiohead’s “Karma Police” leaves it flaccid yet her most daring cover finds Morris reimaging Metallica’s “Ride The Lighting” as a slow waltzing, flute laden haunt, ending up as a disk highlight.
The soul songs covered such as The Charmels “As Long As I Got You” and “Walk On By” seem almost too easy for Morris as she nails them with a fluidity that would make lesser musicians cringe. When it comes time to harmonize with herself on “Wicked Game” there is a deep swirling pool of voices that float with each other effortlessly.
Mockingbird shows off Morris’s good taste, creative thoughts and powerful vocal prowess while allowing the listener to experience tunes they know in a unique new style; a pleasant experience all around.