Higher | review

The year is 1994 and Harem Scarem's 3rd album "Higher" has just been released, a perfect follow up to the first two grandiose albums "Harem Scarem" and "Mood swings"..... well this is not true since we all know that the 3rd one is titled "Voice of reason" and came out 95.
I myself like that record very much but it was a step too far away from their typical sound and many fans were disappointed with what they heard on that post grunge kinda effort, Harry Hess and Co. proved on their last album "Weight of the world" last year that they indeed could write songs with the same spirit as the early ones and it was a great album.
BUT,"Higher" is their 2nd best piece of work without doubt after the masterpiece "Mood Swings", we have it allhere: great guitar hooks from Lesperance, amazing melodies from Hess, up tempo driven hardrockers that are lined up one after each other to shake this world around,a modern production but with the same H.S feel we're used to hear, superb choirs that'll make anyday a good day and not to forget the high class in the songwriting - 10 impressive unforgettable tunes.
If I should be stranded on a desert island and could only take with me 2 H.S records,it would be "Mood Swings"and this one "Higher"!
Reach for the sun, sings Hess on the first track and' you know what?!, I find myself with my hands up in the air trying to reach for the sun....... I believe in every word he sings and try to do the same, aint that a living proof of what music means to all of us.
"Waited" is the 2nd track, put that one in between "Stranger than love" and "Change comes around" on MOOD SWINGS and I wouldn't argue..... fab stuff.
3rd one is "Torn right out" and starts off like something that could've been taken from Rubber or Hess solo album but with more flesh and bones in the sound and the refrain is better than anything on those albums.

"Give it to you" comes next and sounds very much like their sound on "Weight of the world" that included most uptempo rockers and a mega catchy chorus.
Then there's the title track "Higher" that shows Harry's best side in melody making, beware of this one because there's a fantastic lift off at the end of the song that will make everyone of you Harem fans dance like crazy.
And still after half the record when track no. 6 takes over,the same high class is delivered on "Run and hide",a super melodic song that could've been taken from the first album.
"Lucky ones" has a nice acoustic intro that suddenly explodes in a pumping rocking chorus and what about the keyboards on the 2nd verse, awesome!
At this point I would have settled with what we got at the first 7 songs and the rest could be just OK...... but Hess and Co. shocks us with their maybe best song so far in "Lies", listen to the organ that I love to air keyboards to and that REFRAIN!!!!!!!, hey folks....... this is when music is played at it's best!
9th track "Gone" starts like an acoustic ballad and I almost feel like it's about time for a slow tune but no way, they rock it up and Harry sings like he hasn't sung in 10 years..... let it all out with a whole lot offeel in it.
Last one is "Lost" which has a magnificent guitar hook from Pete and once again nothing to complain about, not a bad song in sight...... you don't have to believe me, just wait and see on Sept. 15th when it's released and get back to me then!

Review by Kaj
Originally posted at melodic.net
 

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