Harry Harris “Harry Harris” (Independent, 2010)
Harry, he’s here to help you
Music has a strange associative power. I listen to at least 20 new albums a month and each one triggers something different; a mood, a memory or just a link to something else. Harris is the kind of performer who makes me list the other artists that he reminds me of. Firstly, Pete Krebs for the vocals, then shades of Richard Buckner (see ‘Ashling’ in particular), then Damien Jurado for atmosphere. It’s an impressive list and eventually I ended up thinking of Del Amitri’s debut record, a kind of melodic gush, with ideas overflowing, not everything thought through completely. A rush with the odd moment of thinking "why did they do that?
Harris allows the mind to wander, because although the songs are pleasant and diverting, they are not riveting. The lyrics are at times formulaic, ‘Simple Things and Abstract Nouns’ is a good title if a little awkward. ("The heart is a beating drummer / Blood is a bleeding river / Hope is a false endeavour / Something to cling to") are all fine and bland, there’s nothing much to cling to, nothing much to do anything other than damn with faint praise.
There are nice touches throughout, cello, piano and horns offer simple adornment, the precious rasp of his voice treating each vowel as if it is profound becomes a little wearing. There’s not a great deal wrong with these songs, Harris just needs to mature and to stamp them as his own.
Date review added: Friday, September 03, 2010
Reviewer: David Cowling
Related web link: Urry up arry come on