While the soulful hit single My Church has helped make Maren Morris’ name, it’s on Second Wind, the penultimate track of her major label debut, Hero, where the Arlington native makes her most vivid declaration of self: “You can hate me, underestimate me/Do what you do ‘cause what you do don’t faze me/Just when you think I’m at the end/Any second I’m-a catch my second wind.”
Although the 26-year-old singer-songwriter isn’t making a comeback, the sentiment fits her first impression (for those beyond the state’s borders) just as well: Morris might seem dainty or another in a long line of slick Nashville salespeople, but make no mistake — she’s been practicing for this moment her entire life.
Hero recycles most of her EP from last year, adding another seven songs to create a sleek, refreshingly eclectic record that’s mostly being sold as country, but sounds more like a carefree spin through the radio dial, alighting on R&B (the sultry How It’s Done or Just Another Thing) and pop (the irresistible 80’s Mercedes).
In the five years since her last record, 2011’s Live Wire, Hero is a gobsmacking quantum leap forward, but again, that’s not unusual for Morris, who grew leaps and bounds between the trio of albums she released independently in Texas.
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Polished, poised and packed with plenty of singles ripe for heavy rotation, the record is a confident showcase of a talented troubadour whose career, already scraping the stratosphere, is poised to sail even higher in the months to come.
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