Arts, Review

Maren Morris’ New Album Dives into Life, Love, and Making it in the Music Industry

Maren Morris’ Humble Quest showcases a striking, powerful voice that solidifies her place in the country music industry. Humble Quest has an eclectic mix of songs about love and life. Morris reflects on her marriage, the birth of her son, and her path to stardom on the album with country charm and humor. 

The album’s first track, “Circles Around This Town,” features Morris’ reflection on her steady-growing fame and route to success. 

“I drove circles around this town / Tryin’ to write circles around this town / Tryna say somethin’ with meanin’ / Somethin’ worth singin’ about,” Morris sings. 

Morris is upfront about the struggles she initially faced in the music industry. The album contemplates the vast number of times she failed while watching others succeed. “Circles Around This Town” is the perfect opener for the album. It showcases Morris’ vocal skill and catches the listeners’ ears, opening with a simple drum beat and guitar that introduces the melody and Morris’ vocals.

Another standout track is “Background Music,” sharing features similar to a ballad with its slower tempo and lyrics focusing on her relationship. Morris expresses total and infinite love for someone in the song.

“We call it forever but we know that there’s an end to it / You and I can dance our way through it / And I’ll love you till all that we are is background music,” she sings.

“Background Music” showcases the softer side of Morris’ voice, as well as her impressive range. She demonstrates the power of a love that can endure, even when it is no longer at center stage in someone’s life. 

“Nervous” features the same themes of the strength and power of love but with more of an emphasis on desire and the explosiveness of love. It opens with very little instrumentation and just the soft sound of Morris’ voice, gradually building to an explosive chorus. The chorus has an intense beat from the guitar and drums, and Morris belts out the lyrics almost as if they are being shot out of a cannon. These exciting elements make “Nervous” a standout on the album.

“Humble Quest” and “Good Friends” move away from Morris’ expressions of love, focusing instead on the broader trajectory of her life. The title track “Humble Quest” is about the universality of hardship in life and emphasizes the importance of perseverance. “Good Friends” is a recognition of friendship’s necessity in life’s journeys, prompting listeners to maintain strong relationships in hard times. 

“You don’t ever have to worry, yeah / I’ll keep you sturdy, ’cause we’re good friends,” Morris sings.

Through her lyrics, Morris assures her loved ones that she’s always going to be around for them when they face ups and downs. While the words are simple and less inventive than some of her other lyrics on the album, Morris communicates her message clearly and without any sort of ornamentation, which is a nod to her devotion to a friendship that is strong in its simplicity and clear intentions.

Humble Quest is a beautiful tribute to the twists and turns of life and the joy and love that can come out of those very turns. Morris effortlessly glides between notes and pulls off both soft love songs and upbeat tunes. 

April 10, 2022

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