“Find another name for me / Have they found a cure for me?” Rae Morris proclaims as she is reborn on her sophomore album Someone Out There. The British singer-songwriter takes a more electronic direction on this record. She joins the female pop renaissance with upbeat tracks about self-love, partying and empowerment. The theme that threads through the record is the conventional pop narrative of dancing and falling in love at parties. It feels predictable at times, but Morris’ ethereal vocals adds another dimension to otherwise straightforward pop music.
Opening track, ‘Push Me To My Limit’ suggests that the album is going to take a more melancholic turn than it does. ‘Reborn’ would be a stronger opening, as it jumps straight in, setting the upbeat electronic pop tone for the rest of the album. The track celebrates independence and new beginnings and Morris defiantly refuses to be apologetic for who she has become. The album would benefit from more bravely executed empowering tracks like this one.
Only the most dramatically romantic tracks hark back to her older style of strings and piano. The title track provides a stark contrast to the more upbeat songs that punctuate the album. On ‘Someone Out There’, one of the most accomplished tracks, Morris’ dreamy vocals tell a heart-warming story about finding love over the top of piano and backing vocals. Love songs abound, but Morris spares few moments for heartbreak. ‘Atletico (The Only One)’ playfully documents falling for someone at a party. It opens with, “I was trying to be cool/ but I can’t really dance,” before the song crescendos into a chorus that challenges listeners not to dance, whether they can or not. ‘Dancing with Character’ brings the album to a strong close with another celebration of love found and lost at parties.
It is carefree songs like ‘Reborn’ and ‘Do It’ that bring the album to life. Morris’ talent lies in lively electronic pop and slow tempo haunting, string-heavy love songs. Tracks that lie in between these two genres are unmemorable and lack the catchiness and emotional depth of stronger tracks. Someone Out There signals a fresh style for Rae Morris, but its plethora of pop clichés make it feel unoriginal at times.