Harper Simon - Harper Simon - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Harper Simon - Harper Simon

by Amy Baker Rating:8 Release Date:2010-04-12

The first time that you hear Harper Simon's self titled debut album, you will feel as though you have heard it before, in a good way. This is more than likely due to contributions from arguably some of the biggest names in music history. Harper's Dad is folk legend Paul Simon and his influence is very clear on this album especially in the track 'Tennessee' which he co-wrote. Bob Johnston who produces the album has been behind tracks for a who's who of country and folk music legends including Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Leonard Cohen. As well as these impressive stats, the lucky chap who was ultimately responsible for mixing this album, Tom Rothrock, has worked with guitar heroes, Jeff Beck and Elliot Smith. Take all these experts and mix in contemporary artists such as Sean Lennon and Inara George and I'm pretty sure that every step of the way, Harper Simon felt like he was in good hands and onto a good thing.

From the start, this album is enjoyable. The lyrics are sweet, romantic and memorable. You instantly feel as though you should be able to sing along and I'm pretty sure that after a few listens that's exactly what you will be doing. Simon mixes a nice blend of upbeat and fast paced songs with sweeter and more sincere tracks and the blend is a delight. On some of his songs, his voice sounds almost identical to his Dad's especially in the song that they wrote together but 'Tennessee" is hard not to like.

'Cactus Flower Rag' is probably my favourite track on the album, the introduction reminded me of Johnny Cash and the song sounds like something his Dad should have had on 'Graceland'. 'The Shine' features beautiful female vocals and was co-written by Carrie Fisher - who would of thought Princess Leia was so talented? Final track 'Berkeley Girl' really stood out and had me nodding my head and trying to sing along albeit badly, out of tune and with no idea of the lyrics.

Sceptics might say that with all the help he's received, how could he ever go wrong and that he is riding on the success of his friends and family . This seems harsh. This album is honest and showcases a real talent. I like to think that if I had grown up surrounded by musical greats then I too would be able to carry a tune and you can't blame Simon for having a famous Dad.

It's rare that you find an album where you don't want to skip even one song and I was sceptical because I wouldn't really regard myself as a folk music fan but following a few listens of this truly delightful debut effort - I may well have been converted. My Dad will be pleased!

Amy Baker

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