Morley wears her politics like a badge close to her heart, and keeps it right there, available for inspection. It serves as an inspiration for her, not a whipping post. Listen to ‘Women of Hope,’ dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi, quoting her timeless dictum: “If you feel helpless, then help someone,” and continuing on, “I believe the Almighty knows each and every one of you by your name.” This is good stuff (the fact that Daw Aung San’s political naivete’ and unrealistic expectations may have actually harmed her cause and held her country back is another story: would any country allow a woman to be President while married to a foreigner?). But that’s another story. Aung San was just visiting her mother in 1988, remember…
Morley’s equally at home with her emotions… and her beauty… and her sex… as in ‘Pleasure’: “one kiss on your lips… I could die and be happy… to have lived… just to bring you pleasure.” We haven’t seen female suppleness and emotional vulnerability like this since Joni Mitchell. Then there’s the perennial existential dilemma expressed in ‘Temporary Lighthouses’ (“on a raging sea… doing my best to follow your lead”). Tracy Chapman’s got nothing on her, not much anyway. Her optimism and down-hominess is infectious, too, not bad for a NYC gal. Obviously she knows that
I’ll get used to Morley’s name eventually. I still visualize a middle-aged kinky-haired TV reporter, but it’ll pass. Why she chooses to market herself through world music channels I don’t know, but she’s welcome. I’m loosening my requirements.
Susan Boyle, the frumpy church-singer, is now a full-fledged singing star only three months after her first Britain’s Got Talent appearance. I experienced something similar in TJ (