Dance With Me is a new album from the prolific Hesperia, California-based artist, Morgan Gavin. A true “full album,” this release contains 16 hearty tracks. Synergistically, the songs combine to form a broader narrative, which tells a story about a man who falls for a woman in a nightclub setting. Beginning with his first infatuated glimpses of his new romantic interest, Dance With Me basically gives a play by play of his various attempts to get her to dance with him. Spoiler: He is ultimately successful. Though there have been countless albums with similar themes, I guarantee you’ve never heard one like this before.
It’s difficult to even classify Gavin’s delivery style here, because he’s just such a versatile performer. The best way to describe it in the context of this release is that he presents as a kind of late night disc jockey, blending voice-over monologues with Tom Jones-style romantic singing, resulting in a vocal style that is both genuinely appealing and truly one-of-a-kind. It’s worth noting though that Gavin identifies as several different characters throughout the album, each offering its own distinct flavor and eccentricity. The musical backdrop has a loungy and mellow vibe. It’s like high octane elevator music you can dance to. One of the most powerful tracks is Dance Till She Love which incorporates some sweet synth sounds and invigorates with its quasi-disco energy. Another memorable jam is the haunting Supreme Natural, which channels the ghostly narration of legends like Bobby Pickett and Vincent Price. The snazzy Give You Rainbows has elements of hip hop and R&B and dazzles with a virile, fresh beat.
The storyline creates that classically charming, awkward, yet sincere character we often find ourselves wanting to root for. However, Morgan Gavin transcends the cliches of the genre through his wild and unpredictable presentation. Suffice to say, the creativity employed in this album is off the charts. While most songs on here deal sequentially with the events of the story, certain tracks which represent the dreams of our protagonists are interspersed, adding an imaginative, ethereal component to the machinery. Though I have focused mainly on style, I think it’s important to mention that Morgan Gavin’s actually a fairly good singer, and his performance is compelling on multiple levels. Dance With Me demonstrates what is possible when an imaginative artist has enough technical skill to make his creative vision an sonically enjoyable listen.
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