Review Summary: Overlooked gem from a band that deserved a second album.
I would like to start by saying that if you don't know or have never even heard of the band 'morning runner' then ask yourself if you've ever happened to see an episode of the british TV show 'The Inbetweeners'. Because yes, they do the theme song. This is definitely what they're most known for and perhaps the only song (along with 'burning benches') of theirs that people actually download - which still manages to bring more fans to the band's doorstep. It's a great little song, there's a 'raw' feeling to it coupled with the clean piano and 'shouty', fast (and effective) singing that produces a distinctive sound which makes me wonder why they weren't more popular. But perhaps the reason they weren't was that this is the only song on the album of this style, it is also perhaps the most memorable. The rest have an early Coldplay feel to them with occasional heavier tones, and while this doesn't make them bad, it does make them far less memorable. And as Coldplay are one of the most popular bands on the planet maybe people are tired of 'wannabes', but you would've thought people would've lapped up a band that have a similar sound and still manage to create good songs - but admittedly the singer sounds nothing like Martin and the instruments could appeal to fans of heavier alt-rock.. But their break-up had nothing to do with their meagre success (after all they did have a top 20 single with burning benches) and was apparently down to commercial pressure from Parlophone - which makes me wonder if they could've gained more popularity from a second album.
The album has an undeniable warmth and honesty to it with enough crescendos to satisfy the ears for the entirety of its 11 tracks. None of the instruments massively stand out, perhaps mainly the piano and voice, but each contribute to the song in such a way that it doesn't really matter. There is an effect used on each instrument that remains throughout each of the tracks which provides the album with more of a 'whole' feel rather than just a collection of songs - and provides slightly more distinctiveness.
'Morning Runner' just weren't lucky then, there have been far worse bands that pop up with masses of fans trailing after them and perhaps these guys just didn't join the game at the right time. But with every fan of the massive hit the 'inbetweeners' (and I'm sorry I keep mentioning it) that chooses to delve more deeply into the recognisable soundtrack, they gain another fan - and maybe there is still hope with their reform act 'glass'. And perhaps that is all that matters. That and the fact they've created a very good album.