As frontman for platinum Canadian angst-rockers Moist, David Usher seems to bear the weight of the world on his shoulders. Morning Orbit
gives us an Usher who is looser and poppier. The dreamy, diaphanous opener, "How Are You," and "A Day in the Life" are the songs most likely to land him in Beatles Court, while "Too Close to the Sun" and the lush single "Alone in the Universe" only momentarily recall the guitar bluster of his band. Usher and his production team, including members of Moist, pull out all the stops on "Black Black Heart," which mixes an opera sample, guest vocalist Julia Galios, and scratchy programming.
Aided and abetted by Canadian rapper Snow, Usher offers a semblance of new jack swing in the late-night vibe of "Joy in Small Places." The disc's full melodies and studio-tweaked successes are sometimes offset by the singer's pretensions, though. A line in "How Are You" about "another struggle just to get through nine to five" is laughable coming from a guy who hasn't had a day job in years, while a cover of Tracy Chapman's dead-end-lives portrait "Fast Car" only serves to remind listeners of the vastly superior original. And, in "Butterfly," Usher's tendency to over-emote sinks an otherwise delicate, acoustic guitar-based number. But those who can overlook such foibles--and, judging by the success of Moist, there are many--will find much to like about Morning Orbit. --Shawn Conner
One of Canada's Premiere Songwriters and Performers is Releasing his Second Solo Album. His is Normally the Singer for Multi-platinum Band Moist.