Sunday, 17 February 2008

What the Caked Crusader chose to bake to this week (16 Feb 2008)

Nothing is more disappointing in music than when someone makes a brilliant debut album that you play to death and then never seems to be able to match it again. My CD collection is littered with brilliant debuts and unworthy follow ups – Tom McRae, Roddy Frame (as a solo artist), Clearlake, The Sundays are just a few that spring to mind...and Ed Harcourt.

Ed Harcourt’s debut “Here Be Monsters” and the EP he released prior to it, “Maplewood” are just great. A mix of joyous upbeat sing-a-longs and moodier, dark songs it had everything; seven years after its release there still isn’t a track I skip. I remember seeing him in concert in 2001, delighted to find him so early in his career and thinking ‘here’s someone I’m going to be seeing many times in the future’. Then came the second album.

I know the argument is that artists have forever to perfect their debut then the record company demands a speedy follow up, but I think there’s another reason too. With success comes budget and a tendency to over-produce things removing the heart that made it so successful in the first place. Anyway, rant over! Let’s end on a positive: “Here Be Monsters” is a wonderful album!

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