From the Dead Dog

Guilty pleasure of late has been digging Ed Harcourt’s upcoming release, The Beautiful Lie. Much more inventive than say a Rufus Wainwright, Ben Folds or Elton John (to name the countryman-keyplayer he for some reason gets compared to) and several levels less pretentious than Thom Yorke, dude can flat-out write some killer-diller melodies.

As if that weak-ass-of-a-review isn’t convincing enough, check out Visit From the Dead Dog, a song with a feel and title that somehow reminds me of Mark Eitzel’s “Seeing Eye Dog.” There is much more at his website. Some other blogs have spoken, primarily UK-based. Couple other new cuts via Harcourt’s myspace page.

2 Replies to “From the Dead Dog”

  1. Hey Nick, thanks for reading. You are definitely right to call me out here. I agree, I can’t stand that the majority of reviews tend to rely on comparison when — in most cases — no true comparison can be made.

    With that in mind, why did I do that? Because, as you mentioned, I was lazy, and am still not convinced that many people are reading this. I decided years ago that I wouldn’t become a professional music critic despite my overwhelming passion for new music. I’m overly critical and it while it is hard for me to lend praise, it is all-too-easy for me to be sarcastic. Plus, I do not believe in Top 5 lists. Again, some things just need not be compared. There are times in my life that I can’t get, for example, Hole’s “Celebrity Skin” out of my head and I don’t think there’s a particular reason why.

    I re-read my admittedly lame-ass review after you commented and noticed my greatest error. “Inventive” was a horrible word to use and I can’t figure out how I let myself get off saying that an artist can be more inventive than an Elton or a Thom Yorke.

    Elton John is among the best popular songwriters of all time. This cannot be disputed as I believe only Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” (in Bill & Ted’s) made for a more memorable in-film soundtrack moment than the “Tiny Dancer” bit in, uh, i think it’s Almost Famous. (Big Chill soundtrack takes the cake w/ honorable mention to Bob Seger’s Old Time Rock n’ roll [risky business].

    “Paranoid Android” is one of my favorite tracks of all time.

    Bottom line: I’ll challenge myself to avoid comparisons in future quasi-reviews. I don’t believe in them.

    Thanks again.

  2. why the need to “slag by comparison” instead of just pointing out Harcourt’s strength’s? this is the thing we always blast lazy rock-crits for.

    BTW – while I loved his first record, I thought the last one was not terribly interesting – hope this one is an improvement. And – also [by way of full disclosure & you forced the issue ;-)], I am a huge Rufus fan, moderate fan of Ben Folds [esp the BFF days] and dude – if you’re going to slam either Elton John or Radiohead, you need to get out a bit more: My .02 Elton could have made a career from any of his first half dozen records alone, and “OK Computer” is well, let’s just call it one of the finest rock albums ever made and leave it there.

    I like Ed just fine, but he has yet to write anything as memorable as “Burn Down The Mission” or “Paranoid Android”, to choose just two off the top of my head.

    just sayin’

    Nick in Florida

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