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Customer Review

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thing of beauty, 12 Nov. 2003
This review is from: Here Be Monsters (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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