Ed Harcourt – Lustre

Lustre Album Cover

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Ed Harcourt’s first studio release in four years is not a concept album, but the listener gets the sense that these songs were written by a man who has shifted gears and discovered a newfound sense of purpose in his life. On the album’s title track, he sings, “Lustre in the ruby red blood on my hands where you pulled out all the thorns.” You see, Harcourt’s tale is one of redemption: a “sad sack troubadour” saved by the power of love. This sunny new outlook, and one hundred eighty degree turnaround from his 2006 release, the brooding The Beautiful Lie is, no doubt, due to his subsequent marriage and birth of his daughter.

It’s great that he’s found the happiness that often proves elusive for creative types (and all other types) like himself, but unfortunately it doesn’t equate to a more rewarding experience for the listener. The album starts off promisingly enough with the hummable title song, but it quickly deteriorates, and by the halfway mark, boredom has set in completely. It’s almost as if old Ed couldn’t be bothered to come up with any hooks this time around, and instead opts for bombast (“Heart of a Wolf”) and tired choruses of “oooo la la la’s” (“A Secret Society”). For an album that’s brighter and more upbeat than albums past, Lustre finds itself collapsing under its own weight before the final curtain call.

tags: ed harcourt, lustre

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