Review : Ed Harcourt - The Beautiful Lie
AllmusicEd Harcourt's accomplished fifth album Beautiful Lie is easily one of his most accessible and listenable efforts. Yes, the hallmarks of his tortured singer/songwriter status are still in place, as flagrant strings, grandiose arrangements, and rampant-but-quality peer-mimicry rule these 14 tracks. But even though his lyrics are sometimes overbearingly dark and too many vampire metaphors abound, the music and songwriting compare favorably to contemporary indie-centric, raspy-voiced artists like Beck, the Eels, Sparklehorse, and Tom Waits. Harcourt dabbles in many genres here, from acoustic folk to '70s style pop ballads to rootsy psychedelia to experimental lounge, all the while rooting the music's emotion in melodic piano. When he rocks out full-force on "Revolution in My Heart" and the carnival-esque "Scatterbrain," the fuzzy dynamics recall the Walkmen at their best....full text
PopmattersOriginally released in 2006 via EMI and Heavenly Records, Ed Harcourtís quintessential fifth record, The Beautiful Lie, has already been released once to critical acclaim. What, therefore, remains to be said about it?
Well, for a start, itís still a beautiful record. Orchestral and groovy in all the right places, itís an album that exhibits Harcourtís impeccable sense of arrangement as well as his brilliance as a lyricist. A kind of unsung, less cheesy Sufjan Stevens, Harcourt channels his musical virtuosity with a subtlety that often evokes the late Jeff Buckley....full text
DrownedinsoundAlthough Ed Harcourt has been considered by many to be on the cusp of greatness ever since his mini-album Maplewood hit the shelves six years ago, he arguably has yet to truly fulfil his potential. A simple flick through the DiS archives reveals a seven out of ten for each of his previous albums; three efforts which showed promise but lacked a certain something, guilty on occasion of too much filler. Sadly, Harcourtís new long-player seems to suffer from the same symptoms....full text
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Do you think money can buy happiness?