Believe (Special Edition) | review

A superb package. This Special Edition rounds up all twelve tracks which variously appeared across the original "Believe" and "Karma Cleansing" versions of Harem Scarem
's 1997 studio release. A bonus track appears too, a cover of Cheap Trick's legendary "Surrender". Fivetracks, "Believe", "Hail,Hail", "Staying Away", "Morning Grey" and "Victim Of Fate" have been remixed byKevin Elson (Journey, Foreigner etc etc etc). I'm not a huge fan of remixes, unless they take the songs in another direction together. Elson has added little to these tracks that hadn't already been put there by the Hess/Lesperance production team, but, if pushed, I'd have to say that Elson's remixes are marginally more dynamic, with greater sonic separation and cleaner, clearer vocals. But you'd need the hearing of a dog or bat to discern much more than that.

With one glaring exception, "Staying Away". I thought this wasone of the weaker tracks on the original "Believe" release, and wasn't surprised when it was left off"Karma Cleansing". But on this Special Edition, Elson has beefed up and pushed up Darren Smith's strong,passionate vocals in a revealingly soulful remix. Consequently, this track becomes one of the outstandind efforts on the album. As we reviewed both releases last year, there's not much more to add, other than to advise that if you don't own either of the 1997 versions, then this Special Edition would be a sound investment, even at import prices.

Review by Brian McGowan
Originally posted at Hard Roxx magazine