MAREN MORRIS, HUMBLE QUEST – REVIEW
by John Gaddis
Maren Morris returns with a compelling collection of songs in the country-pop genre, Humble Quest. Her third album was created while she dealt with postpartum depression that followed the birth of her first child, the loss of her longtime creative wingman Michael Busbee to brain cancer, and the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Morris finds joy and strength in music as she overcomes these trials to bring us a collection of spirited and thoughtful songs filled with emotions of positiveness. Greg Kurstin is in the production chair and fills the space with a tasteful mix of country pedal steel, dobro, and mandolin joined by crunchy guitars, synth pads, and big pop-styled drum patterns.
“The Furthest Thing” is a marriage of country sounds with pop productions. The acoustic instruments are augmented by big drumbeats, subtle synth pads, and light electric guitars. Morris’ vocals are enduringly warm, and her diction is clear. The chorus is broadened with the addition of male backing vocals. With a bridge that builds on a catchy rhythmic structure leading to Morris’ upper register, that rings clear as a bell. The ending figure is filled with beautiful vocal layers, demonstrating Morris’ angelic vocal chops and pop-country style.
Morris has an endearing vocal style, with a bit of classic twang and a sleekness of today’s country-pop sound. Her voice is a siren in the crowded field of country singers. Morris stands above head and shoulders.