Sea Of Tranquility

The Web Source for Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal & Jazz-Fusion
  Search   in       
Main Menu

Harem Scarem: Thirteen

This is being advertised as Harem Scarem's first album in six years but we know that's not true don't we. In fact the last time the band graced our pages was just earlier this year with the re-recording of Mood Swings, the brilliantly named Mood Swings II. In my review I noted that, "classy AOR doesn't get any classier than this," whilst my colleague Jon Neudorf suggested Def Leppard as a touchstone which resolutely remains the case on Thirteen.

The Lep-style backing vocals are present and correct right from the start and "Garden of Eden" sets out the band's stall immediately. Supremely catchy melodic rock is very much the order of the day and I can see the (admittedly shrinking) melodic rock audience going absolutely bat shit crazy for this one. In truth Thirteen is somewhat of an AOR masterclass, I particularly enjoyed the almost Queen-like guitar break in "Live It", a song which digs into the brain like a mole burrowing in a field. I can see a much younger and hipper band like We the Kings having a huge hit with the vaguely pop punk "Early Warning Sins" and there's the only rub I can find with the album.

I just have a nagging feeling that in places the band has veered a little far too close to the middle of the road. Want an example? Much as I actually like "Whatever It Takes" I can see an X Factor winner or maybe even the dreaded One Direction unleashing this huge ballad to show their sensitive side but then don't quite a lot of these acts attract the mumsy market with watered down rock music much of the time? The funkier "Saints and Sinners" gets the album back on track again and the quality is maintained right to the end.

Track Listing:
1) Garden of Eden
2) Live It
3) Early Warning Signs
4) The Midnight Hours
5) Whatever It Takes
6) Saints and Sinners
7) All I Need
8) Troubled Times
9) Never Say Never
10) Stardust
11) Garden of Eden (Acoustic Version bonus track)

Added: November 24th 2014
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1774
Language: english

[ Printer Friendly Page Printer Friendly Page ]
[ Send to a Friend Send to a Friend ]


[ Back to the Reviews Index | Post Comment ]

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
For information regarding where to send CD promos and advertising, please see our FAQ page.
If you have questions or comments, please Contact Us.
Please see our Policies Page for Site Usage, Privacy, and Copyright Policies.

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all other content Sea of Tranquility

SoT is Hosted by