Higher | review

Track by track breakdown:
1. Reach - The album starts off with this very guitar driven track. Hess is right on with his vocals and Pete Lesperance backs him up with some very addictive guitar riffs. This is not a tune that gets stuck in your head right away, but the song does grow on you with powerful lyrics and good harmonies.
2. Waited - Simply put this song rocks! It starts out with a great acoustic intro by Lesperance and Harry's vocals shine on this track. Waited could be very well a single and used in a movie as it has enough hooks to keep you coming back for more.
3. Torn Right Out - The album mellows out a bit with this pop influenced track. Torn Right Out didn't really do anything for me as it has good lyrics and a catchy sound to it but to me its just another pop influenced Harem Scarem track that they already have many of in their song library.
4. Give It To You - This fast tempo song is a catchy little number with Harry singing a bit faster then usual and at times he plain out yells out the main verse of the song. Give It To You lives up to its name as its very addictive to listen to and above all is just a feel good song.
5. Higher - If I had to pick a favorite song on this album this one is it. Higher is wonderfully crafted song that has strong lyrics, great harmonies, and perfect vocals. This tune is why many consider Harem Scarem one of elite melodic rock bands in the world today.
6. Run and Hide - The album picks back up a little bit with track mixing in a bit of both mellow and heavy guitars. Harry's vocals on this track are amazing as the rest of the band is clicking as a whole, as I could see Run and Hide being another single.
7. Lucky Ones - My second favorite track on the album starts out with another acoustic intro by Lesperance but the song quickly picks up the pace into a simply great rocker. This song reminds me of the band's material from their self titled and Mood Swings albums, Lucky Ones is sheer perfection.
8. Lies - Another guitar driven rocker Lies is most likely influenced from the band's earlier days. Although the track has some great riffs and lyrics this song didn't really catch my attention like Waited, Higher or Lucky Ones.
9. Gone - An acoustic driven number this song is emotionally driven by Hess and his vocal abilities. The hooks are definitely there and the lyrics are near perfect. I wish there were a couple more songs like this on the album.
10. Lost - This is one of the best closings songs I've heard on any album with great harmonies, awesome lyrics, and a nice little solo by Pete Lesperance. This is another track that reminds me of Harem Scarem's earlier albums. Its nice to see the band get back to their roots a bit with Lost.

The Rundown:
Harem Scarem had a hard task ahead of them after following the overwhelming success of their 2002 release Weight Of The World. With Higher the guys return to their roots a bit of their first two releases. The result is a album that is sheer melodic perfection. Harry Hess vocals are near perfect on every track and Pete Lesperance lays down some really memorable guitar riffs. Every song is well crafted and most on the album could be hit singles. Harem Scarem continues to impress me with every album they put out so if they can top Higher then bring it on!

+'s (Positives)
+ The song writing team of Hess and Lesperance are an unstoppable force. From Reach to Waited to Higher to Lucky Ones each song on the album has the hooks, a catchy sound, and great lyrics.

+ The overall sound of the band is amazing. Harry Hess said that the songs off Higher remind him a lot of the band's first two releases (Self-Titled and Mood Swings) The band has incorporated the hard rock/melodic sound to Higher but the album is no where near as perfect as the first two albums. (its hard to repeat the success of the albums that made you big) Yet in 2003 Higher seems like the perfect album from Harem Scarem to please fans.

-'s (Negatives)

- The only complaint for the album is time at 37 minutes the album could of used another 3 or 4 more songs.

Overall:
Harem Scarem have returned to form, the band has released an album that has a very slick and polished melodic sound to it. Each track progresses smoothly as you don't have to hit skip. From the harmonies to the addictive lyrics the album should attract both fans of the earlier albums and new fans.

This album receives a 5/5 Higher grows on me with every play. I mean even if you try you can't get the songs out of your head. It's sheer perfection from a band that stays true to themselves while at the same time their not afraid to experiment and add a modern sound to the songs.

My personal favs on Higher are: 1. Higher 2. Waited 3. Lucky Ones 4. Gone and 5. Reach

Review by RockDawg
Originally posted at Shipwreck Island Studios
 

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