Tuesday, February 06, 2007

top50 - #6

6. ed harcourt - 'the beautiful lie'

Ed's 2006 album was actually my very first review on too.many.records., and the choice was easy at the time, because it was the record permanently glued to my stereo. It was also, I thought, a good universal choice for a blog that I like to try to maintain eclectic, despite my general metallic leanings - there is something here for everyone, if you know where to look.

The person who introduced me to Ed in the first place has had a hard time getting to grips with what is, essentially, Ed's step into maturity. I fell in love with Ed for his sunny pop hooks and easy-going goodtimes, so I'm not sure if our relationship will take this latest change, she says, and that might be the biggest stumbling block to overcome when dealing with 'The Beautiful Lie'.

The hooks are there, as is still the boyish irreverence that I mentioned on my first review of this, but everything is a bit denser and slightly more sombre in places, so the sunny bits take their time to reveal themselves. When they do, however, they settle in for good. On one hand, you will melt at the endearing sweetness of 'Good Friends Are Hard To Find', and also find that it's impossible not to join in the thrilling chorus of 'Revolution In My Heart' or the demented carny that is the murder ballad 'Scatterbraine'.

Ed is trying to branch out. As you can guess from the last sentence of the previous paragraph, Nick Cave and Tom Waits are two big reference points. Not that 'The Beautiful Lie' sounds like them all that much. In fact, it sounds like Ed, which is the best thing that can be said about him at this point in his career (and let's not forget that the man isn't even 30 yet). His uncompromising posture, the approach to songs, to writing, and even to lyrics, show a very promising left-field-ness that could easily blossom into something very special indeed.

will you love me when i'm old / well, i'm still hoping i can get that far, Ed sings on opener 'Whirlwind In D Minor'.

Well, here's to hoping.

song of the day:
'Whirlwind In D Minor'


  1. Sounds interesting, I love music that moves me with any sort of emotion, sad, happy,angry, desperate .. I'll have to give Ed a listen.

  2. definitely sounds irreverent