Harry Hess - Just Another Day
Frontiers Records
Melodic Pop Rock
10 songs (38'12)
Release year: 2003
Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Ben

Harry Hess, the prolific and talented singer / songwriter of Harem Scarem released his first solo album in 2003, marking it the fourth Harem Scarem related album of the year. Just Another Day couldn’t be confused with another Scarem release however, it is far too poppy and mainstream for that. Very simplistic structurally, the songs are upbeat and fun, happy tunes that are perfect for summer listening. I could very easily see certain tracks on here being radio hits, that is how accessible they are.

When I say that this album has a huge pop rock lean to it, I should single out Everybody as an example. This is simply a great compostion with a monster hook in the chorus. A very bouncy vibe to it and acoustically driven, this encapsulates the pop side of Just Another Day perfectly. Another side of this album are the handful of moody ballads such as the title track. Starting off with some drum loops and softly strummed clean electrics, this already sounds quite different than what we are used to hearing from Harry. Lyrically, this has a bit more depth than some of the other songs here, and Harry gives a passionate performance, and once again the chorus is so infectious that I cant stop humming the melody or singing it whenever I’m driving around and blasting this as loud as my system can. Why is another personal highlight, short and sweet with catchy refrains, memorable melodies and another chorus that is to die for. Surprisingly, the album is closed out by a cut from Harry’s main band, the mega smash Sentimental Blvd.. I haven’t done a review yet for the album that this is taken from, Mood Swings, but amid an albums worth of classic material this is by far the best track. Actually, the fact that this appears on Harry’s solo album isn’t too far of a stretch seeing as it was penned solely by him. He gives it a bit more modern update here with the guitar tones and vocal delivery, he adds his more current singing style to it as well as added backing vocals in the choruses. It doesn't sound like it came straight from the eighties like the Mood Swings rendition does, it is more like a current band making an eighties influenced number. When played back to back with the original version I can honestly say that I prefer Harry’s newer take which says a lot considering how much esteem I hold for Harem Scarem.

For a solo album, Just Another Day hits the nail straight on the head. Harry experiments with different instrumentation and the style on this is remarkably different than his main band making the purchase that more worthwhile, I’m not hearing songs that sound like they were b-sides to Higher. Definitely for the dedicated Harem Scarem fan base but I can see a few fringe listeners digging this album as its lighthearted feel is one that would appeal to casual fans of hard rock and even pop rock.

Killing Songs :
Look Right Through Me, Just Another Day, Why, Everbody, Sentimental Blvd.
Ben quoted 71 / 100
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There are 8 replies to this review. Last one on Thu Jan 27, 2005 5:39 pm
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