Morgan Wade | Psychopath Review
The Abyss of the Heart: A Review of Morgan Wade’s Psychopath
by Bea Willis
Morgan Wade’s newest offering, Psychopath, is stepped in intimate confessional lyrics. The album delivers 13 tracks crafted with the help of some of Nashville’s most extraordinary musical talents, from A-list songwriters (Julia Michaels, Natalie Hemby, Liz Rose, Lori McKenna, Ashley Monroe, Angaleena Presley) to an A-list of outstanding studio musicians. The album’s pop-country sounds are suffused with elements of punk, soul, and a dash of 80s grunge. This might take listeners by surprise, but you will want to press forward for the lyrical rollercoaster of emotions.
The Instrumentation throughout the album is an elegant blend of warmly distorted electric guitars set to country rock beats in the drums. There are moments of simplicity and intricate detailing with piano chords and delicate guitar strumming, that often give way to explosive crescendos that scream urgency. There’s a raw authenticity in how the instruments frame Morgan Wade’s soul-baring lyrics.
This album amplifies Wade’s lyric writing skills when discussing Key Musical Elements. Her words are a collection of poetic musings that hit right in the gut. As a musician who’s strummed her fair share of emotional tunes, one can’t help but admire her command over storytelling through lyrics.
Production Quality on Psychopath is top-notch thanks to longtime producer-guru/song whisperer Sadler Vaden. Every note, every whisper, and even the occasional sigh are captured immaculately. It’s as if Sadler knew he was handling emotional dynamite and took great care to preserve its potency.
The Overall Mood is introspective and deeply authentic. It’s the kind of album that demands late-night listens in the solitude of your room. Songs traverse the intricate landscapes of love, loss, addiction, and the ever-complex human condition.
The album opens with the song “Domino,” a haunting ballad about the lingering effects of a past relationship. The song sets the tone for the rest of the album, which is full of songs about love, loss, and the complexities of the human experience.
Other tracks on the album include “Guns and Roses,” a beautiful piano ballad about a relationship that is both beautiful and dangerous; “Alanis,” a tribute to Alanis Morissette; “Phantom Feelings,” a song about being haunted by the memories of a past relationship; and “Psychopath,” a song about a toxic relationship.
As for Standout Emotional Moments, it would be unjust to pin them to specific tracks. Each song is its own universe of feeling, deserving individual immersion. If you’re a fan of Brandi Carlile’s soulful narrations or have found solace in Alanis Morissette’s emotional rawness, you will find a kindred spirit in Morgan Wade. Yet, she’s far from a replica; her unique blend of musical genres and vulnerable lyricism sets her apart.
Psychopath is resonating with pop-country fans, and her star is undoubtedly on the rise. From being touted as one of Nashville’s fastest-rising stars to receiving accolades from the likes of Rolling Stone and the New York Times, the anticipation for Psychopath was well-earned—and beautifully met.
As the last guitar arpeggio of the album faded into silence, I found myself enveloped in a reflective quietude stimulated by Wade’s singing of the complexities that make us painfully, wonderfully human. Her songs are raw and honest, and they explore the full range of human emotions, from love and loss to joy and pain. She sings with a vulnerability that is both disarming and powerful, and her music leaves a lasting impression.
Release Date: April 28, 2023
Label: Ladylike Records/RCA Nashville
About the author
With an unwavering passion for music that began at the tender age of five, I embarked on a journey of self-expression through the piano, later expanding my repertoire to the guitar and the art of singing. As a seasoned performer in cozy coffee shops and harmonious choir ensembles, I've immersed myself in the diverse tapestry of musical genres, seeking to uncover the intricate qualities that strike a chord within our souls.
Beyond my personal experiences, my journalistic pursuits have led me to explore the stories and inspirations behind the melodies we hold dear. As a music journalist, I aim to delve into the heart of each composition, shedding light on the creative minds that have shaped the soundscape of our lives.
In my downtime, you can find me serenading my loyal canine companion with heartfelt tunes on the guitar or indulging in retail therapy to enhance my ever-growing wardrobe. Songwriting holds a special place in my heart, and I yearn for the day when I can share my creative talents with the world. Until then, my passion for uncovering the emotional power within music continues to drive my insightful reviews and analyses, as I journey through the rich landscape of melodies that move us.