Album Reviews

Hess – Living in Yesterday Review

Released by: Frontiers Records

Release Date: August 24th, 2012

Genre: Melodic Rock

Links: http://www.frontiers.it/album/5048/

 

Line Up:

Harry Hess: Lead Vocals, keyboards, Backing Vocals, additional Guitars

 

Additional Musicians:

Peter Lesperance: Guitars & Bass

Creighton Doane: Drums

Howie Simon: Guitars solos on “ What If “ & “ It’s Over “

Magnus Karlsson: Guitar solo on “ Living In Yesterday “

Chris Green: Guitar solo on “ Where To Run “

Tommy Denander: Guitar & Keyboards on “ I Don’t Wanna Want You “

Strings on “ What If “ & “ It’s Over “ arranged by Pete Whitfield, performed by Pete Whitfield, Sarah Brandwood-Spencer, Paulette Bayley (violins) Simon Turner, Nick Trygstad (cellos).

Marcie Free: Backing vocals on songs 1,2 & 3.

Darren Smith: Backing vocals on songs 4 – 10.

 

Tracklist:

01. Living In Yesterday

02. Reach For You

03. It’s Over

04. Don’t Leave Me

05. What If

06. Nothing Lasts Forever

07. Falling Down

08. I Live For You

09. I Don’t Wanna Want You

10. Where To Run

 

Many people really despise illegal filesharing. I understand where the artist is coming from, however there are times when this illegal activity actually creates revenue for the band. I would wager every one of us has downloaded something for free at one point or another. Hell I admit it. I live/lived in a small, rural area in the South. Especially where I lived prior to my current residence, the local Walmart was essentially the only outlet for new music. For a fan of all things metal, Walmart is not the place to find the best new releases, and definitely not the place to discover new music. And most certainly with the cost of CD’s there’s no way I’d plunk down what little money I had to take a chance on a band with a cool cover. When I was growing up and got my first job at McDonalds I would take the bulk of my paycheck to Record Bar/Record Town/Blockbuster Music (the evolution of a local music store right there) and just buy whatever tapes I could. Seriously, when they were $4-5 dollars a pop, I had no qualms about dropping some scratch on a band called Raven just because the album was called Life’s A Bitch. I didn’t have an issue taking a chance on groups like Shok Paris, Loudness, and Keel because back then tapes and LP’s just didn’t cost that much. And rarely did I find a bum album in my random shopping excursions. Sure, now that I’m fairly conservative minded financially I look back and think, “Damn what the hell was I thinking,” but at the time I had one helluva tape and album collection and was a walking encyclopedia for bands most people had no clue about at my school. It was total nerd empowerment if ya ask me.

So what does a talk about filesharing have to do with my review of Frontier Records recording artists Harry Hess (simply going by Hess on this album) and his latest release Living In Yesterday? Good question and here is your answer: If it weren’t for illegal filesharing, I’d never had heard of a band called Harem Scarem. It took downloading one song to turn me into an absolute freak for this band. I now own all of their albums and try to spread the word of their greatness to as many people as I can. And if you know Harem Scarem, you know that Harry Hess is the former singer of this once incredible Canadian AOR band that has sadly broken up. That last line really kills my heart, as there’s not a single bad album from the band, even when they tried to switch it up and go under the moniker Rubber. Much in the same vein as Pretty Maids and Jeff Scott Soto, that band could do no wrong. Now on his second solo album, Hess continues making incredible music that follows in the same mold as Scarem. Ranging from straight forward melodic rockers like the title track, “Nothing Lasts Forever,” and “I Don’t Wanna Want You,” to mostly lighter, more ballad type AOR, it showcases his voice as well as his incredible abilities at crafting catchy, hooky songs with witty lyrics. Either way, it’s absolutely brilliant…but I am a bit biased. Though it’s not exactly a carbon copy of Harem Scarem, it maintains enough of what made that band so great, while showing the multi-faceted abilities of Hess’ writing abilities.

Fans of the band and Hess’ prior work, as well as folks that just love music that is awesome, you can’t go wrong with Living In Yesterday. He’s such a deserving talent of so much more acknowledgement. Here’s hoping that the success the band never achieved will happen for Harry. He’s such a brilliant singer, lyricist, and songwriter, it’s a shame he’s not a household name like Justin Bieber. What the hell is wrong with people?

 

Written by Chris

Ratings    Chris    9/10

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