In his new single “It’s Christmas (Let’s Try Again),” singer/songwriter Todd Morse brings classic pop/rock harmonies together with the spirit of the season in a way that few other indie artists have this year. Critics have been abuzz with the December treat since its initial release, and it isn’t difficult to understand why when indulging in its crisp melodies, striking string play and simplistic lyrical attack. Morse isn’t really changing the game for holiday music in “It’s Christmas (Let’s Try Again),” but he’s absolutely knocking out one of the more accessible and cathartic seasonal tunes to see widespread release in 2019.
The master mix here is remarkably well-rounded, and I like that it puts as much emphasis on the main instrumental components as it does with the more subtle elements in the song. There’s nothing muffling the bassline or getting between us and the drums in the various twists and turns that we face in the composition; instead, everything is pretty much on an even playing field, allowing for the audience to appreciate all of the depth in the harmony created between the backing band and Todd Morse himself (which, as I see it, is the most significant draw in this track).
Morse’s vocal is the main linchpin holding everything together in “It’s Christmas (Let’s Try Again),” and were it not as warm in tone and free of external influence as it is in this instance, I’m not convinced that this single would be as engaging as it ultimately is under his direction. He breathes a lot of life into every verse here, and though his approach is anything but aggressive in nature, there’s a certain sense of urgency in his execution that lends agency to the emotionality of his words in each provocative juncture of the track. By playing it conservative, he makes “It’s Christmas (Let’s Try Again)” more palatable both cosmetically and compositionally.
These grooves could probably be reworked into a more balladic tempo and still be as charming as they are in this state, and to be frank, I think that this song could work just as well as a vocal/guitar number as it does here. Todd Morse is always the undisputed star of this show, and even though he doesn’t seem to have a problem balancing out his contribution to a track with that of his counterparts in the backing band, his vocal never fails to steal the spotlight by the end of any given performance.
If you love both Christmas and casual, adult contemporary-esque rock music, I would recommend checking out Todd Morse’s “It’s Christmas (Let’s Try Again)” the next time that you’re in the market for new tunes. There is a plethora of awesome holiday tracks coming out of the woodwork this year, but for those who have a discriminating ear for potent hooks, smooth harmonies and memorable beats that will stay in your head long after all of the mistletoe has been taken down, this is about as ace a song as you’re going to find on the left side of the dial. Only time will tell for certain, but with the right support, I can easily see this becoming a future Christmas classic.