James Morrison ft. Nelly Furtado - 'Broken Strings'
There's a minor gripe I need to get out of the way first, so to apologise for starting with negativity, I shall lace it with a compliment: I like James Morrison. I like his voice, I like his songs - he's that rare breed of guy-with-guitar who doesn't irritate me in any way, and 'You Give Me Something' still gives me goosebumps when I hear it. However, let's talk about those album titles: I was willing to overlook 'Undiscovered', despite it being a bit cloying as first album titles go, because it did at least make a lick of sense when heard in the context of the title track. But 'Songs For You, Truths For Me'? No no no no no. That will not do at all. Get back to album-naming school and don't come back until you've learned something, Morrison.
Ahem. Right. So, 'Broken Strings', then? I'm normally a little bit suspicions of duets because they tend to be more about adding a bit of extra selling power than they do about actually creating a decent record, but in this case it really works: Nelly Furtado's voice harmonises with James's really well, to the extent that it actually left me thinking I'd like to hear them sing more stuff together.
It all starts off rather lovely and subdued, with the backing being very subtle but hinting at epicness to come in the next three minutes or so, and James Morrison's voice being all deep and soulful and at its very best, to my reckoning.
Nelly comes in on the second verse and does much the same, and it's all gradually building, and then pretty much bang on the three minute mark, just as expected, it sort of explodes into something quite dramatic and Coldplay-y, and I speak this as someone who isn't particularly fussed about Coldplay one way or the other, but it's really really effective.
And then it all melts down for a few moments before kicking up again, and it's like all the best bits of an '80s power ballad without all the permed hair.
What's not to love about that?