Ed Harcourt: From Every Sphere (Astralwerks)

This is not the world of a tormented soul; instead, it is the world of someone who finds the best way to express his feelings is through his words and music.

It is alleged that Ed Harcourt has a backlog of over 300 songs. It is this  sort of work attitude that sets him apart from other singer-songwriters. For some musicians, the creative muse can be something that has its ups and downs. For others, it is just a way of staying alive and communicating with the little voices that dance around in your head. Ed Harcourt belongs to the second group. His music is a combination of Jeff Buckley and Sparklehorse. He is a serious songwriter in the vein of Buckley and is an experimenter of sonic landscapes and odd uses of instruments, as is Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse. This unique blend of lyrics and music works to create lush, atmospheric, sonic meditations on love, solitude, and other esoteric topics.

“Making an appearance at the club tonight, playing some songs I think are alright./I’m not post-modern, just a man who can bark, and bite with teeth that leave a mark.” —“Jetsetter”

When listening to the new songs on From Every Sphere, you get the feeling that Harcourt lives in a dreamy and literate world filled with dark moments and flashes of blinding light. This is not the world of a tormented soul; instead, it is the world of someone who finds the best way to express his feelings is through his words and music. One of the shortcomings that plagues the work of Harcourt is that he seems to let his ego override his artistic visions. At times, his lyrics border on being almost simplistic, to the point of being cheesy. At such a young age, he has many more years to work and perfect his vision, From Every Sphere is a step in the right direction from his first release, Here Be Monsters.

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