Album Review: Bobbie Morrone — Lonely St.

In many ways, the current resurgence in pop-soul is not surprising. A significant segment of today’s listeners is always in search of something new. But at the same time they want music that evokes subtle, almost unconscious connection to the music of the past.  So music that sounds at least a little bit like Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway is likely to find an audience. A classic pop sensibility is key to what Bobbie Morrone brigns forth on Lonely St., his latest full-length. Some listeners will hear hints of James Morrison or Michael Bublé, while other may find Morrone’s music of a piece with the approach of another retro acolyte with one foot in modernity, Allen Stone. But Morrone applies a rock aesthetic to his songwriting sometimes, too. “Get By” has it both ways: the tune is catchy and current-sounding, but it remains rooted in pop. Prominent use of electric piano provides a kind of connection to the classic pop past, but the crunchy guitars happily provide enough grit to scuff up the gloss. Morrone can play it subtle, as on the airy and atmospheric intro to “I Can’t Fall That Far,” but he can swerve up a kind of streetwise funk (pop style, that is), on a cut like the kinetic “Walk Away.” on one hand, he has the moxie to title a tune “Jam.” On the other — thank goodness — he has the taste to deliver the goods on said track in just over a minute and a half. That’s a pop sensibility shining thorugh, and it portends well for the musical future of this Indianapolis-based artist.