ONE WAY Recommends [Issue
#13] Ed Harcourt By
For his third solo release, Ed Harcourt ups the artistic ante and delivers a melodic jackpot at the same time. The searing wail of guitar in the opening strains of “The Storm Is Coming” launches into a thunderous drum and piano groove that sets the tone for a spectacular ride. With the track, “Loneliness,” the singer-songwriter displays an unbridled gift for blending poignant lyrics with contagious melodies.” His autobiographical “Born in the ‘70s” cleverly depicts a wide-eyed, simpler world before the transformation into adulthood bred cynicism into the artist’s being. On the song “Kids (Rise from the Ashes),” Harcourt seems to balance his message between an elegy for innocence lost and the hope for some miraculous rescue. Overall, Jari Haapalainen’s meticulous, ornate production and skill at arranging Harcourt’s generous artistic gifts make Strangers a stunning success. Although Ed Harcourt has lurked in the shadows of success in the US, this CD could introduce him to a wider audience.