Call for Feature Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music
cover art

Ed Harcourt

Lustre

(Nice Music Group/ Piano Wolf; US: 15 Jun 2010; UK: 15 Jun 2010)

Lustre will light up your life. So goes the closing quote on the press release placard for Ed Harcourt’s fifth album. Usually these kinds of statements are a bit of hype designed to play on potential consumers’ sensibilities, but this time the promotional shoe fits. Following the success of his previous record, The Beautiful Lie, it’s clear from start to finish that Harcourt has honed his piano-propelled songwriting even further on Lustre, to present his audience with a wide array of stylistic flourishes.


The opening title track builds an ethereal siren-song chorus into rich organ work that perfectly fits the message of seeing the silver lining in everything. The incredible crisp kick drum bounce of “Haywired” carries the record forward into the subdued, but not subtle, iconoclasm of “Church of No Religion”, where Harcourt sings in his throaty rasp, “I have my head screwed on like a nail in the cross”. The surf-rock sunshine of “Do As I Say Not As I Do” addresses the issue of double standards, and the piano ballad “Lachrymosity” reminds us that sadness is inevitable, but not necessarily detrimental, to living.  Harcourt does his best David Bowie impression on “When the Lost Don’t Want to be Found”, and closes the album with “Fears of a Father”, a song about the wonders and worries of parenthood. Lustre is ultimately an album that greets life’s up and downs, victories and defeats, calms and frenzies, with enthusiasm.  Put another way: Ed Harcourt will light up your life.

Rating:

Related Articles
19 Oct 2010
An unfairly named, unfairly shunned, and completely unhip genre, adult alternative, in my opinion, is producing some of the best new music these days, and you don't have to be a project manager with two kids and a suburban home to enjoy it. Here I examine three examples of the best records in said genre from this year.
23 Jun 2009
Russian Roulette is both a powerful statement and a fine harbinger of a glorious full-length to come.
2 Jun 2008
Re-released a mere two years later, The Beautiful Lie is unsurprisingly still a beautiful record.
2 Feb 2005
Harcourt's third full-length release is a breakthrough album for the erratic British piano man.
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.