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Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

on 1 October 2004
Har Mar Superstar does a surprisingly convincing impression of funk and disco on this new album. Basically he has no inhibitions, and this is what makes the album strong. I don't think it's musically amazing, but HMS understands what rocks a party, and this is party music - think a mixture of Shalamar, Jamiroquai, Kool & the Gang, Funkadelic and maybe Basement Jaxx. It's derivative, but it's fun, and un-self-conscious fun is a rare thing. A good one for the car stereo, or for while you're doing the housework!
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on 6 October 2004
For most people I would think it's difficult to judge Har Mar. Despite his appearance in the recent Starsky and Hutch movie, most people are unaware of him. I bought his last CD (You Can Feel Me) on the strength of the single "Power Lunch" and I was not disappointed. So I eagerly awaited his new offering.
The first single DUI and indeed the whole cd shows a lot of funky and disco seventies influence and is less Electonic than the last one. In some ways it's comparable to Jamiroquai, but if you don't like them, then don't let that put you off, this is a fine cd.
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on 24 July 2012
not just har mar's best album, but one of my all time favorites. some great pop songs from funky uplifting soul to dirty electronic to the worlds most depressing song. one of very few albums that can be listened to from start to finish without feeling the need to skip a track or two.

buy it!
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on 3 November 2017
not bad.
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on 20 September 2004
For those of you who haven't heard "The Handler" yet, Har Mar has taken his music to another level. While 2002's "You Can Feel Me" was a breath of fresh air and boasts fine songs like "Power Lunch," "We Could Be Heavy," "Freedom Summer," and the immortal "EZ Pass," "The Handler" is a fully realized, diverse offering that virtually defies you not to shake your ass.
John Fields -- the man behind Andrew W.K.'s "I Get Wet" and Pink's "Try This," among other albums -- lends his production expertise, finally allowing Har Mar's music to sound as large as his persona, and an all-star stable of collaborators stop by to further class-up the proceedings. Appearances from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O. & Nick Zinner, Northern State, Michael Bland (former New Power Generation drummer), Australian beauty Holly Valance, and Elvis Costello & The Attractions drummer Pete Thomas help the recording sound like an aural celebration.
Track-by-Track Commentary:
1.) "Transit" - A thumping bassline and Michael Bland's steady, solid drumming provide the foundation for Har Mar's call-and-response ode to burgeoning fame and the fast lane.
2.) "Body Request" - Sounding as if it were plucked from 1982, this shimmering disco song features backing vocals by Holly Valance and more drumming from Michael Bland. If this doesn't become a break-out hit, there's something wrong with the world! Reportedly, the song's name and chorus were inspired by a Japanese beverage of the same name.
3.) "DUI" - No, Har Mar is not glamorizing drunken driving ... he's merely acknowledging the mortifying but all-too-familiar practice of "Dialing Under the Influence" (aka "Drunken Dialing"). High, horny, and sounding like a Jackson 5-era Michael Jackson, he reminisces about being "a lonely man with a roaming plan." Holly Valance provides playfully chimpmunkized backing vocals.
4.) "Cut Me Up" - Hooky and beautifully sick, Har Mar and Karen O. huff, puff, and groan their way through this synthesizer-heavy tribute to sadomasochistic sex. Another track that sounds as if it were recorded in the early '80s.
5.) "Sugar Pie" - Stevie Wonder will either be flattered ... or furious that he didn't record this! Har Mar's vocal soar, and there's even a harmonica riff that pays homage to "Isn't She Lovely." Light as a helium balloon and sweet as cotton candy, "Sugar Pie" is bound to make many people happy. Arranged by Pete Thomas.
6.) "As (Seasons)" - Sharing a writing credit with Har Mar & John Fields, Nick Zinner plugs in his guitar & bass for this playful-but-steady dance track. Whether singing about moon boots, the beach, Halloween, or horny neighbor kids, Har Mar's sexual antics thrive in all seasons.
7.) "Save the Strip" - Living in Motley Crue's old apartment off the Sunset Strip has inspired Har Mar to fantasize about reinvigorating the street's legendary party vibe. The rap here is fun ... and filthy.
8.) "O" - While this ballad at first sounds spare and out-of-place, repeated listenings reveal its nuance and beauty. Har Mar sounds more sedate and thoughtful here, with lyrics like "These words are my son, this hotel room my wife." The song slowly builds, with a strumming guitar added to the mix during the second verse.
9.) "Back the Camel Up" - A spiritual sister of "You Can Feel Me's" "Elephant Walk" -- which was co-created by members of The Faint -- this infectious dance anthem features both Nick Zinner and Holly Valance yet again. Har Mar raps of his sexual endurance before the pounding "Chomp Chomp Spit" chorus forces your feet into motion. A Middle-Eastern riff also weaves its way through the proceedings, making this track as catchy as the plague ... but in a good way.
10.) "Bird in the Hand" - Northern State, the female rap trio from New York, join Har Mar, Nick Zinner on drums, and Brian Gallagher on flute. Har Mar sings about his lust for a materialistic "little girl." Northern State's playful interruption in the song's latter half provides a playful counterpoint to the loverman's lusty intentions.
11.) "Back in the Day" - Har Mar brushes off former friends and collaborators who turned their backs on him in the weakest track on the album ... which is to say it's still better than the weak tracks on most R&B albums. And besides, you have to love any song that namechecks Sisyphus.
12.) "Alone Again (Naturally)" - In another shocking bit of seriousness, Har Mar tackles Gilbert O'Sullivan's 1972 hit single. Updated with modern squeaks and skronks, Har Mar's pipes are clean and gorgeous, lending "the most depressing song of all-time" a newfound sense of poignancy.
Although it seems to be floating under the radar right now, "The Handler" deserves to be heard! Buy it, and I can almost guarantee it'll be the soundtrack for your next party.
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on 10 October 2004
This is a truly great album. I bought the other 2 on the strength of this (they are not a patch on this classic). OK, so maybe this guy's tongue couldn't possibly be more embedded in his cheek (or any other of the places mentioned on the album!) but the arrangements, production, songwriting and general feel-good vibes make this a serious piece of work. Think of Prince at his best (pre-Batman!!), add a touch of Stevie Wonder (Track 5 especially) and a pinch of 70's disco energy and you've got this sexy beast of an album. Don't buy it if you like Craig David or any other dodgy wannabes, but if you count "Lovesexy"; "Sign of the Times"; "Parade"; (Prince) or "Innervisions"; "Talking Book"; (Stevie Wonder) in your top 100 albums then this could float your boat!! BUY IT NOW
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on 25 September 2006
This has been one of my very favourite albums for the last 8 months or so. It's the sort of record you don't have to be in the right kind of mood to enjoy, it's a majorly feel good experience. I find it has brightened up mundane tasks like washing the dishes, washing the car, and even having sex with my rather homely girlfriend.

Before buying "The Handler" I was, like most people, familar with Mr Superstar through his onscreen persona, mainly his hilarious cameo in Starsky and Hutch. I had heard a couple of singles, which I liked, but I wondered if he was a bit too much of a novelty act to really have any staying power as a musical force. On listening to this album it becomes apparent that Har Mars jokey persona belies a real talent to be reckoned with. First of all his voice is way better than I expected it to be and he seems to be able to flit between different styles without it sounding ridiculous. On "Transit" he sounds like a Jamiriquoe you don't have to be ashamed to listen to, and various other songs have him sounding like Stevie Wonder, Prince, and the Jackson Five. He even does some pretty credible rapping.
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on 22 August 2004
These intoxicating tunes from an up and rising "superstar" are the only sounds coming out of my car stereo for the past month. I have very special connections so I've had the privledge of hearing this album well before its release and have heard great things. This Album, produced by a very rockin new producer, Strawberry Fields is incredible. It combines leud lyrics resembling those of gangster rappers who rule the music world right now with the smooth sounding voice not heard in the buisness since Jamaraqui. Take those two things and add the staggered look of Har Mar, a fat, white, almost insane looking man with hair going anywhere it wants and an outfit that fits (spandex pants and tighty-whiteys) and you have yourself a hit. PLus, with firneds like Ben Stiller and Owen Willson, his personality must be a party as well. This album has huge diversity an tarcks like DUI and Transit are what Har Mar does best. He also throws in an amazing cover of Gilbret O'Sullivan's classic "Naturally" which rocks the cd. Every song on the cd is amazing and perfectly mastered. You'd be a fool if you didn't go out and buy this CD nOW!
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