Morgan Wade’slong-awaited sophomore studio album Psychopath is out everywhere today.
The follow-up to her spectacular 2021 debut Reckless, it’s definitely a more dynamic record in terms of the sound, with a much heavier influence of rock and roll and even a little grunge at certain moments.
Produced by Sadler Vaden of Jason Isbell’s 400 Unit band, Morgan says she’s “proud” of her new project, though it was daunting task to try and follow-up such a “critically-acclaimed” album in her aforementioned debut:
“When I went in to make ‘Reckless,’ I didn’t have any expectations. Sadler and I sat down with the songs that we had written and gave each song its own sound and its own life…with no pressure.
I didn’t know that ‘Reckless’ was going to change everything for me. That record catapulted me into my career. When I started working on ‘Psychopath’ I was nervous (still am) about following such a ‘critically-acclaimed’ album.
But as I sit here and listen to this art that Sadler and I created (again), I am proud.”
She added that Psychopath is completely authentic to who she is, what she feels, and where she’s at in her life right now:
“This record shows where I have been since ‘Reckless,’ and where I’m at now. Regardless of what people say about ‘Psychopath,’ I’m proud because I feel like it showcases where I am at this moment in time.
I have no choice but to be authentic. And I have to feel what I feel. And right now, I’m really feeling the music. I hope you can feel my authenticity and that you can get something out of this project.”
And for fans who love hearing Morgan in her purest form with a simple acoustic guitar, she shared on her Instagram that she’ll eventually be putting out acoustic versions of songs on this album, which I can’t wait for too:
Morgan released three songs in the lead up to today in the title track, “80’s Movie,” and “Fall In Love With Me,” and “Psychopath” is still one of my favorite songs on the album.
But since there’s so much good new stuff to get into today, let’s talk about a few of my early favorites…
“Losers Like Me”
A solo write by Morgan, this one certainly leans into her more rock and roll sensibilities on the production, as she reflects on being young and blissfully naive to the world:
“We said we wouldn’t get jobs and we’d burn our bras We wouldn’t turn out nothing like our moms I didn’t, but I wish I did We all got drunk and we all got laid Drove the Ford to the levy, said fuck the Chevrolet My friends grew up, and my friends had kids”
There’s something so infectious about the electric guitar and production on this one, and coupled with the funny, introspective and relatable lyrics, is already a favorite of mine on the tracklist.
Written by Morgan along with Hillary Lindsey, Liz Rose, Lori McKenna and Sadler Vaden, Morgan delivers a haunting message to an ex about how they’ll never be able to “outrun” her memory, even if they fall out of love and never see each other again.
I love the chorus where she tells them to go to church or “straight to hell,” because no matter where they go, she’ll still be in the back of their mind:
“You can get on the highway You can fly to the moon Go get drunk in some hotel Go to church or straight to hell You can leave me Try to un-love me But you can’t outrun me You can’t outrun me”
I can definitely see this one becoming a fast fan-favorite, because it’s got that classic Morgan Wade sound and beautifully-written lyrics.
Morgan penned this one with Pistol Annies band members Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley, and it’s a super sexy track where Morgan doesn’t hold back about exactly what she wants, hence the title.
“‘Can’t you love me all night long Don’t care where we are, push me up against the wall Don’t say no, just scream my name Don’t hold back, I crave the pain”‘
The piano backing is gorgeous, and per the usual, her vocals sound perfect too.
Another Morgan Wade solo write, this one is an absolute stunner, the perfect album closer, and the easy standout on the record for me. She addresses her mental health struggles in a way that reminds me a lot of The Night Part 1 & 2.
Of course, the title is a reference to the commonly-used list of legendary musicians that have passed away at the age of 27, including Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Amy Winehouse and more.
She delivers a pretty seething line about how even though she’s found fame and success, it doesn’t magically make every struggle go away, though “at least now I’m getting paid”:
“And I know that I gotta have faith But its kinda fucking hard at the end of everyday Stuck in my mind Like all the time
And some nights when I’m feeling suicidal I could reach for the gun, I could reach for the bottle But it’s great At least now I’m getting paid”
There’s also a lyric about her hanging out with a “Beverly Hills hottie,” which seems to be a reference to the rumors about her potentially being in a relationship with Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Kyle Richards.
I can already see it churning up the rumor mill once again, and it seems to be the most direct and straightforward statement she’s made about the nature of their relationship thus far:
“I’m out in LA with a Beverly Hills hottie… only knows me ‘cause I wrote the song about the hotel lobby.”
The song as a whole, though, is a statement on how, even though she’s thankfully not part of the “27 Club,” she understands how some of her favorite artists ahve sadly became a part of it all too well:
“I don’t know if I would call it luck But I, I didn’t make the 27 club I’m 28 So y’all ain’t gotta dig my grave Yeah, it goes on and on and on It goes on and on and on…”
I think it’s the most honest moment on the record, where Morgan bears her soul in terms of her struggles with growing up and being a 20-something who’s certainly had some success, but clearly doesn’t have much figured out at the same time.
This is Morgan at her finest, and I love everything about it:
The album’s title is so intriguing in and of itself, and while there are certainly some manic moments where Morgan finds herself questioning herself and life in general, I think it’s something so many people will relate to and the reason she’s made such a name for herself in country music in a relatively short amount of time.
I definitely think Psychopath as a whole is an evolution in terms of Morgan’s overall sound and things of that nature, but a lot of the writing is classic Morgan in terms of the honesty and authenticity that we all fell in love with on Reckless.
To me, that’s the essence of why I love her as an artist, and I think that’s still the strength of this collection of songs and what stands out to me the most here.
She doubles down on who she is, what she struggles with in the pain and beauty of the human experience, and it’s an exceptional journey through her inner most thoughts and what makes her so unique.