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Here Be Monsters [VINYL]

Ed Harcourt Vinyl
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Vinyl (23 Jun 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Heavenly
  • ASIN: B00005K208
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,403,825 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thing of beauty 12 Nov 2003
Format:Audio CD
There's no other way to describe this fragile debut from one of Britain's most promising singer-songwriters... It is, quite simply, a beautiful record...
There's something thoroughly English about Harcourt's style and delivery, something almost parochial - this is not a bad thing, but a pleasure - Harcourt's music is, for the most part, soft, delicate - imagine a more upbeat Nick Drake, sat at the piano rather than with a guitar, and with richer production, and you might start to get somewhere close to what Harcourt sounds like... Supposedly, he wrote literally hundreds of songs sat in his grandmother's house out in the country before he was "discovered", and you can certainly imagine Ed sat at an old creaky piano, staring out at the English countryside...
Harcourt veers in style from the slow melancholy of "Those Crimson Tears" through to upbeat love songs like "She Fell Into My Arms", and even into vaguely "pop" territory with the likes of "Hanging With The Wrong Crowd" or "Shanghai"... He's at his most interesting though when he touches on the slightly experimental production of the likes of "Beneath The Heart Of Darkness", which builds up before literally collapsing in on itself in a wall of feedback and radio crackle... While that may sound a little self-indulgent, it never seems it, instead holding the attention of the listener for all of it's seven minutes...
On many albums, even those that I enjoy, I often find my fingers stretching for the "skip" button on my CD player to find a favourite track - but this is one album that I can happily start playing and listen to in it's entirety... There is not a weak track to be found...
I bought Here Be Monsters on a whim, knowing nothing about it and having never heard any of the music... Now I can safely say that it would be among my top ten albums of all time... All the friends I've played the album to have been equally enamoured... My advice - check it out now...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fresh and exciting 4 May 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I'm always a touch sceptical about these new 'sensitive singer songwriter' types, mostly because they are neither sensitive or in fact any good as songwriters, but this is different, this is amazing. For a full-debut it doesn't get better than this, consistently brilliant and highly addictive, but at the same time very respectable, Harcourt should be the next big thing.
With the stand out being the single 'She Fell into My Arms', most of the tracks are piano-led, ala Ben Folds but with more options. A lot of the album also features a brass section, adding a classy feel to what is already a full line-up. Opening with 'Something in my eye', the album really hits steam come the first chorus of track two, 'God Protect Your Soul' - out of nowhere the album is kicked into life with Harcourt booming "I need to feel the walls around me" and suddenly the mood and tempo of the whole piece has changed and a special talent has arrived. By track four I can picture grown-ups crying at 'Those Crimson Tears', and then two tracks later the whole world will be grooving to 'Apple of my eye' - another fine single. It then gets scary with 'Beneath the heart of darkness', tempos are changed again and eventually, after a good old stomp with 'Shanghai' we settle with 'like only lovers can,' such is the imagination of this recording, listeners will soon find themselves studying and believing every word Harcourt says, this is pretty powerful stuff.
Sceptical? Yes. Intelligent? Extremely. Ed Harcourt deserves to be massive, something tells me that can't be far away.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely! 7 Feb 2004
Format:Audio CD
i bought this album on a whim after reading an interview with him in the paper and now i'm hooked. it's a great "mood" album to put on when you just want to chill out. i'm not sure i could classify it, but if you're into real music with guitars and pianos and feel like hearing someone sing about their good and bad times then i'd recommend you give this a try (after all it's not expensive for a whole cd worth of lovely-ness!)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here is Wonder, Greatness and Majesty... 19 Sep 2002
By max
Format:Audio CD
Stunning - truly stunning. It's rare that I play an entire album from end to end without skipping a track. If it doesn't press my buttons, off it goes. But here, is a rare exception to this rule of thumb. Harcourt, captures just about every nuance and subtlety throughout and takes us through the full gamut of harmony, melody, anguish, loss, pain and joy. This is an album for all occasions. But beware, you could smile and as easily cry. Buy it - I command you. You'll find little else to warm the soul.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I was Fiction, I wish I was Fact 12 July 2002
Format:Audio CD
"Here Be Monsters" is an amazing mixture of the best music genres that give birth to a unique style. He uses sorts of vocal jazz ("those crimson tears"), easy listening ("like only lovers can", "Wind Through The Trees"), pop ("She Fell Into My Arms"), folk ("Something in my eye") and proper rock n roll ("Shanghai", "Apple of My Eye") to create a style of his own. He achieves creating his own musical atmosphere on everything song especially on "Beneath The Heart Of Darkness". Ed performs every song with soul and honesty. Not only he shows that he is a great singer-songwriter but also a great instrumentalist. His lyrics deliver the goods and don't go round in circles. What I like the most is his honesty as an artist, the kind of honesty that is missing from lots of todays music. Lyrics like 'I need to build a wall around me' on "God Protect Your Soul" 'that's the way I am made I'm afraid' on "Those Crimson Tears" and 'I've reached a low don't you know?' on "Apple of my eye" show the blossoming of a great artist (a musical genius). There are no fillers in this record. I recommend this record to anyone who enjoys good music. Congratulations on doing an excellent record Mr. Harcourt and I hope you do many more. Thanks for showing that artists are humans. I thought I was crazy but "Here Be Monsters" showed me that is ok to 'fall on your knees and beg like a dog'. "Apple Of My Eye" is simply one of the best songs ever written. Amazing, words aren't enough to describe it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Buy
When exploring the links to things other people have bought on Amazon, i discovered Ed Harcourt. I bought "Here Be Monsters" having heard all of none of his songs. Read more
Published on 9 Nov 2003 by pepperpotter
4.0 out of 5 stars Good album; moments of imperfection but also of beauty
Not exactly as good as I thought it would be, but very good all the same. The singer's youth shows in some of the tracks and in occasional lyrics but there is more than enough to... Read more
Published on 5 Mar 2003 by Laura Lee Browne
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
How predictable. An amazon reviewer giving their beloved album five stars out of five. This time however, I believe I am entirely justified in according full marks to this... Read more
Published on 6 Jan 2003 by Mr. C. D. A. Price
5.0 out of 5 stars Leave this world and build a wall around you!
This superb album captures everything everybody loves about music. You know those little moments that send shivers down the back of your neck on every listening. Read more
Published on 26 Feb 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent
Why does everyone say the first track is radiohead-inspired? It's got a xylophone in it. So has No Surprises. But the similarities end there. Read more
Published on 1 Feb 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars sublime, beautiful, tearful, celebratory...
I have just fallen in love with this album, having heard 'she fell into my arms' on the radio, but knowing nothing else of Mr Harcourt or his music. Read more
Published on 19 Nov 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Believe the hype
I bought this album on the strength of an article in Q magazine and must admit I was pleasantly surprised. It did take me a few listens to get into it and I am now hooked. Read more
Published on 15 Nov 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars inspirational record of the year
i bought this album after owning the maplewood EP from which several album songs are taken, however Ed Harcourt has truly surpassed himself. Read more
Published on 7 Nov 2001 by A. Williamson
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