Ed Harcourt - Here Be Monsters

Ed Harcourt - Here Be Monsters
Recording Location:
Church Studios; Hear No Evil; Ridge Farm Studio; Tarbox Road Studio; WEstside Studios
Here Be Monsters
Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Indie Rock
Release Date:
July 31, 2001

Ed Harcourt certainly has a grasp of atmospherics, and he's steeped -- some would say marinated -- in his influences. There are some really marvelous tracks on Here Be Monsters, the songwriter's debut album. "Something in My Eye," which is lush with trumpet and strings, has an evocative tune and a vocal in a languid stupor, while "Beneath the Heart of Darkness" sports a great lead-in and such witty, ear catching lyrics as "spluttering like an army of artillery sporadically firing." The ending veers into the experimental, with a hurricane of noisy static before a calm resolution.

"Wind Through the Trees," sounds like the forlorn hand of Erik Satie skittering its way across a piano, with the dreamy refrain "You can't run from me/'cos I'm the wind through the trees." Beautiful. Other tracks warranting further ear time are "These Crimson Tears," with its cello and muted trumpet wafting after-hours from some jazz club alleyway, and "Apple of My Eye," which has a mock Motown/spiritual vibe, with handclaps and a much beefier vocal than the one featured on the earlier Maplewood EP. What remains is less noteworthy, and the penultimate track, "Shanghai," comes with an awful, possibly ironic guitar break, and sounds like a Buggles reject. It's a baffling puzzler given what preceded it, making one wonder about the artist's allegedly vast back catalog and his possibly tenous hold on quality control. This artist contains multitudes, though, and it looks like the gifted ones are in the ascendant. Follow his upward trajectory.

Something in My Eye / Ed HarcourtEd Harcourt3:41
God Protect Your Soul / Ed HarcourtEd Harcourt5:27
She Fell into My Arms / Ed HarcourtEd Harcourt3:48
Those Crimson Tears / Ed HarcourtEd Harcourt5:09
Hanging With the Wrong Crowd / Ed HarcourtEd Harcourt3:40
Apple of My Eye / Ed HarcourtEd Harcourt4:02
Beneath the Heart of Darkness / Hadrian Garrard / Ed HarcourtEd Harcourt7:19
Wind Through the Trees / Ed HarcourtEd Harcourt6:45
Birds Fly Backwards / Ed HarcourtEd Harcourt3:30
Shanghai / Ed HarcourtEd Harcourt3:49
Like Only Lovers Can / Ed HarcourtEd Harcourt4:52

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