Maren Morris’ highly anticipated sophomore album, Girl, is officially here and further cements the Texas native’s steady ascent within the country genre. Where 2016’s Hero introduced Morris to the world with standout first single “My Church,” heartfelt Billboard Country Airplay No. 1 “I Could Use a Love Song” and feel-good bop “Rich,” 2019’s Girl steps it up a notch.
Memorable collaborations with Brothers Osborne (“All My Favorite People”) and Brandi Carlile (“Common”) leave a lasting impression on the listener, as does Morris’ clever songwriting. The singer co-wrote each of the 14 tracks on the release and her storytelling is as sharp as ever. While fans already had an introduction to the project with its powerful title track, the stirring “A Song for Everything” and soulful “Good Woman” continue to showcase Morris’ vulnerabilities and willingness to step out of her comfort zone with lyrics that touch the soul.
Below are five tracks that make Morris’ Girl a must-listen.
Morris married singer-songwriter Ryan Hurd in March 2018, and much of their newlywed bliss is highlighted throughout Girl. This old-timey track is easy to envision being performed by a 1960s girl group, with Morris’ soulful singing style, hand-snapped rhythms and an ear-grabbing drumbeat that begs to be danced to. “You’re giving me the feels, baby/ Head down to my heels, baby,” Morris croons alongside a memorable guitar riff. A song that will excel in the live setting, fans embarking on The Girl World Tour are in for a treat with “The Feels.”
“A Song for Everything”
“What’s your time machine?/ Is it Springsteen or ‘Teenage Dream’?/ What song takes you back?/ Your first falling in love soundtrack?” Morris asks at the track’s start. A nostalgic tune, on “A Song for Everything,” Morris recalls having trouble finding the words in certain situations until hearing lyrics that spoke directly to her. Whether it’s reminiscing about young love and past heartbreak while listening to a Coldplay tune or old mixtapes, Morris takes the listener on a journey on this standout song penned with frequent collaborators Jimmy Robbins and Laura Veltz.
“Common,” featuring Brandi Carlile
A poignant ballad that has Morris and Carlile searching for answers to life’s many questions, “Common” is a song with a much bigger message. Morris kicks off the first verse by admitting that she sometimes feels “crushed under the weight of the world.”
“We got way too much in common/ So what’s the point in fighting/ We got way too many problems/ If I’m being honest/ I don’t know where God is/ ‘Cause we got way too much in common,” they sing on the track’s soaring chorus.
Alongside backing singers that give a gospel feel and Carlile’s striking vocal power, “Common” is a timeless track that needs to be heard.
Morris has been outspoken about the lack of women on country radio, so it’s only fitting that Girl arrived on International Women’s Day. On “Flavor,” Morris continues to discuss her reasons for speaking up for the underdog and promises that she “ain’t gonna water down the words or sugar up my spice/ Sometimes the truth don’t always come out nice.”
“Yeah I’m a lady/ I make my dough/ Won’t play the victim/ Don’t fit that mold/ I speak my peace/ Don’t do what I’m told/ ‘Shut up and sing’/ Well hell no I won’t / I’m cooking up my own flavor/ Even if it ain’t your style,” she asserts alongside a steady bass beat, distorted guitar parts and plenty of country swagger.
The sultry “RSVP” highlights Morris’ ability to effortlessly blend genres for an earworm of a song. With descriptive lyrics and smooth R&B beats that would make Boyz II Men proud, Morris shows her confidence on this jam that will likely make her hubby blush. “Don’t tell me that you got better plans/ For those velvet hands,” she croons on the track’s opening. A song that Morris tells Billboard is sexual in a clever way, it’s the most assured we’ve heard her on the album.