Morgan Reese’s Empress Of Mars

I first discovered Morgan Reese just over a year ago. Back when I was bummed out because some of my Memorial Day weekend plans got cancelled and Morgan Reese was tied to a record label that had her doing upbeat pop music. A lot can change in a year. Now I’m in a much happier place after a week filled with a trio of late night diva concerts and Morgan just dropped her new album, Empress Of Mars, after leaving her label to pursue her own original sound.

Morgan still has her pop sensibilities but her sound is more indie-gritty, her lyrics are now grounded in maturity, and her style isn’t as radio-friendly in a complimentary way. That doesn’t mean Morgan’s songs don’t still have catchy hooks, especially the swoon-worthy “Snowglobe” and the guitar-heavy “Rockstar.” Morgan’s also exploring a very electronic R&B vibe on a couple tracks. There’s some mechanically-assisted self-harmonizing that’s reminiscent of En Vogue on “Distance” and Destiny’s Child on “Power Source” but who needs a trio when you already have Miss Ross…I mean Miss Reese, if you’re nasty.

In my gay opinion it takes balls for a diva to walk away from the security of a record label in order to make music in her own style and on her own terms. Empress Of Mars is Morgan stepping out and being the boss she is. May this Empress continue to expand her queendom and rule supreme for a long time to come.

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