Kevin Morby – Oh My God
Oh My God is a record that rarely falls short of a creative arrangement, but ultimately the gospel of Kevin Morby is one for the devotees not the unbelievers
Five records into a productive solo career, Oh My God sees the irreligious Kevin Morby deliver what he calls his first true concept album. Describing himself as a “spiritual being with a secular attitude towards the soulful”, Oh My God finds our protagonist musing over the role of community, sanctity and transcendence in our modern lives with mixed success.
After the evocative, pastoral Singing Saw and the back alley skulking and Lou Reed obsession of 2017’s City Music, Oh My God is a slow-paced but cohesive collection of songs built around weighty piano and Morby’s weary voice. Following the title track, the album opens strongly with the handclaps and moody sax of No Halo and the lush backing vocals and percussion on Nothing Sacred / All Things Wild. Both because of its length – 14 slow moving songs – and the complex songcraft, it’s a record to sit back and let flow over you.
Hail Mary and Piss River function as roving, discursive centrepieces, making good on their five-minute-plus runtimes by gently teasing out their author’s relationship with the sacred and the profane over two of the record’s strongest melodies, but by the time O Behold and Sing a Glad Song come around you’re left wondering whether the religion-for-unbelievers concept is as strong as Morby thinks it is.
From voices in prayer to the jaunty organ and guitar pedal abuse of Congratulations, this is a record that rarely falls short of a creative arrangement but ultimately the gospel of Morby is one for the devotees not the unbelievers.
Listen to: Hail Mary and Piss River