Pop Sunday

Jeremy / My Shining Star


My Shining Star (Jam)

Since the turn of the century, Jeremy Morris has been on a serious creative roll, releasing an album every couple of months. Aside from solo projects, the Portage, Michigan based singer, tunesmith and master of multitudes of instruments, claims membership in The Lemon Clocks and The Jeremy Band. He also runs JAM Records, which not only distributes his own music, but efforts by other artists. 

Jeremy’s latest album, My Shining Star, is filled to the finish line with all the aesthetic applications he is championed for. An adventurous spirit – mirrored by songs about the Holy Spirit – bestow the thirteen track collection with a positive presence that energizes the soul.

Bright and sunny vocals of The Beatles and Byrds variety duly magnify the inspiring dialogue on New Perspective, You’re Amazing and the title cut of the album. Streaked with glittering guitars, vigorous tempos and colossal melodies of diverse contours, these irresistible entries serve as certified power pop nuggets. 

Pitching a darker and heavier tone, Love Your Enemy sounds a bit like Led Zeppelin at times. Piercing licks abound, while the dramatic drone of a Mellotron further heightens the intensity of the production. A sweet and steady jangle directs The Afterlife, which wisely notes, “nobody wants to die, but everybody wants to go to heaven,” where  Saying Goodbye carries a melancholic ring and simple, yet effective hooks. 

Designed of dreamy and ethereal textures, Light Of The World glides seamlessly to a mediative rhythm, glowing with celestial beauty. A cover of Norman Greenbaum’s 1969 hit single, Spirit In The Sky proves to be a fitting end to the album. Jeremy’s revolutionary rendition of the song extends to nearly twenty-five minutes in length and contains some additional lyrics he authored himself. In the beginning, Spirit In The Sky follows the same pattern and arrangement as the original version, with its springy cadence and chugging fuzz guitars, before exploding into a dazzling freakout frenzy of improvisational hard rocking moves and grooves. 

Considering how prolific he is, Jeremy seems to instantly conjure ideas from thin air. And what’s even more remarkable is the quality of his music remains uniformly excellent, with My Shining Star tooling in as another sure-fire keeper from this mighty talented fellow. 


Diana Ross

Born on this day in 1944, in Detroit, Michigan, singer Diana Ross. Ross and her vocal group, The Supremes, continue to be one of Motown Records‘ biggest-selling artists. She later went on to have a successful solo career, with numerous hits, including; Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Touch Me In The Morning, and Love Hangover.

Quick Spins

Amy Petty / The Darkness Of Birds

Amy Petty

The Darkness of Birds (Self-released)

Sometimes I come across an artist and am so impressed, that I have no choice but to immerse myself in their back catalog. This happened when I first heard Kathleen Edwards, Neil Finn, Suzanne Vega and several others. Among songwriters at this level, there is an investment of themselves in the music that is immediately respectable (and intriguing).

Petty’s music is often dark, “Undertow,” and dripping with atmosphere, but her urgent vocals are ripe with hope. “The Dreams That Are Waiting for Us” and “Liar and a Thief” feel somber, yet inviting, like a warm cup of coffee waiting on a cafe table in late Autumn. The production is sparse and warm, letting Petty’s voice and thoughtful lyrics stand up front, right where they should be. Lovely.