Album Reviews

Harem Scarem – Change the World Review

Frontiers Music s.r.l.

Release: 6 March 2020

 

Line-up:

Harry Hess: Lead & Backing Vocals, Keyboards

Pete Lesperance: Guitars

Creighton Doane: Drums

Darren Smith: Backing Vocals

 

Tracklist:

Change The World
Aftershock
Searching For Meaning
The Death Of Me
Mother Of Invention
No Man’s Land
In The Unknown
Riot In My Head
No Me Without You
Fire & Gasoline
Swallowed By The Machine

 

 

What can I say about Harem Scarem that I haven’t said a million times already over the last 20 years of being a fan of theirs? Not much, but I’m going to have to find something to say as they have a new album out now. I could blabber on about how they’re one of the best, most consistent melodic rock bands of all-time. I could tell you that they’re one of Canada’s best-kept secrets. I could say that it is a shame they’re not a bigger name than they are. I could say all that (most of which I have said in prior reviews,) but chances are if you’re reading this you probably already know all of this. If you don’t, then get with the program dammit! 2017 saw the release of United, which in my estimation is their best work thus far, so they already had their work cut out for them with a new album.

My first spin of Change the World, I was somewhat shocked. I didn’t love it instantly as I have with all their releases. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it quite a bit, but it didn’t give me that full-body sensation I’m accustomed to. Had the mighty Scarem released an album that I wasn’t going to fall in love with? Perhaps it was just my mood (which does have a major effect on one’s thoughts when listening to new music,) because after I got through the second spin, I was happy to realize that no, Harem Scarem is still the best. I will say this though, I do think that United was just a tiny bit better. Change the World almost feels like tracks that were left behind during the recording of the previous album. And that’s not a knock, as they’re still killer tracks. You still have the brilliant riffs of Lesperance and the incredible vocals of Hess, and top-notch melodic songs, but the album falls just a little short of the greatness of United. The first two tracks released, “The Death of Me” and “Change the World” were nice appetizers leading to the full release, but I found tracks like “Mother of Invention,” “Swallowed By the Machine,” and “In the Unknown” to be more standout tracks, though again, there’s nothing wrong with the rest of the album. It just falls a little short of surpassing United.

Essentially, if you love this band, then you will love this album. They have a definite sound of their own and adhere to it consistently. It’s packed with some excellent songs and wonderful performances. Had United not been such a stellar album, Change the World would easily be on the same plane as their other releases. There’s something to be said about consistency though; as the adage says if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. And there ain’t nothing broke about Harem Scarem. 

 

Written by: Chris Martin

Ratings: 8/10

 

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