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Articles Home » 2007 Articles » Harem Scarem - 2007 Human Nature
Harem Scarem - 2007 Human Nature

ARTIST: Harem Scarem
ALBUM: Human Nature
LABEL: Vespa Music Group
SERIAL: CD 82998209672
YEAR: 2007


LINEUP: Harry Hess - vocals, keyboards * Pete Lesperance - guitars, keyboards, vocals * Barry Donaghy - bass, vocals * Creighton Doane - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Human Nature * 02 Next Time Around * 03 Caught Up In Your World * 04 Reality * 05 Hangin' On * 06 Don't Throw It Away * 07 Give Love/Get Love * 08 21 * 09 Starlight * 10 Gong Under * 11 Tomorrow May Be Gone * 12 Higher (Acoustic)



The last time I reviewed an album from these guys, I wasn't very complimentary. 2005's 'Overload' didn't rate that highly with me, and it appeared I was the odd one out among our review site peers. Even erstwhile gave them a 99%. Now give or take a grain a salt, a 99% review on that site for this band hardly makes for subjective reading now does it? (throw Toto in there too). Well, I can safely report that Harem Scarem have returned with a far more digestible musical offering - one that makes this grizzled old 70's rocker perk up and listen. 'Human Nature' is by AOR standards, a return to form. You cannot take away class once it's been exhibited. Hess, Lesperance and team have demonstrated more than once they have this ingredient. It's what they do with it that's questionable. A couple of duffer's in their discography probably goes to show they are human after all, and therein lies the album title.. 'Human Nature'.

The Songs
I won't beat around the bush. Some of these songs are absolute pearlers. The band have rediscovered the magic bullet that saw their 1991 debut as one of the best of what was a poor 90's decade for melodic rock. By comparison, 'Harem Scarem' was a shining light. Listening to the opening brace of tunes 'Human Nature' and 'Next Time Around' you'd swear these guys were writing a 1992 follow-up instead. Catchy rockers such as 'Reality', 'Tomorrow May Be Gone' make for compulsory listening. They do change it up in some places. The near pomp pretensions of 'Give Love - Get Love' is one example - check out those Queen/Aviary vocal harmonies on the chorus. Or the progressive sounding 'Don't Throw It Away', which wouldn't be out of place on many of those acts on the Insideout Music label. The band can turn it on when it comes to ballads, and 'Hangin' On' and an acoustic version of 'Higher' are no exceptions.

In Summary
Harem Scarem now look as if they want to take their destiny into their own hands, and good on them. I love seeing bands of this calibre go it alone without the sugar-coated arsenic laced by some of the bigger labels. Now released on their own Vespa label, the band have ditched all other attempts to distribute their material - you can now find this offering on CDBaby (link below). On that effort alone, the band would get a 100/100 rating. As we all know, this band have produced a lot of output, with some definite highlights (include here: the debut, 'Moodswings' and 'Weight Of The World') and low lights (include here: their Rubber period, and 'Overload') along the way. Thankfully, 'Human Nature' is another notch on the highlight list. In fact, this one goes a long way to putting these guys back on the pedestal they once occupied on their own. A very good release indeed. AORsters take note.

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#1 | jeffrey343 on January 01 1970 01:00:00
This was my introduction to Harem Scarem last year. This CD was available on Napster, so I listened, loved, and bought it. I do think the best songs are at the beginning and end - the middle songs to me are not quite as enjoyable - but it is pretty consistent. It has a good combination of an older sound and a more modern sound - some of the songs are not very different than what you'd expect from many successful modern rock acts. I got the first HS CD after this one, and I enjoy it a lot too.
#2 | richardb on June 17 2008 21:20:10
They'd be hard pushed to match their debut and 'Mood swings' and times have changed in any event but I still find a lot to enjoy here whereas some of their previous offerings such as 'Weight of the world' and 'Overload' left me indifferent. I particularly like 'Give love/Get love' you are spot on with the Queen comparison, Pete Lesperance's solo is straight out of the Brian May songbook..

Richard B
#3 | roadrunner158 on August 16 2011 13:49:24
Of all the post-Rubber CDs, this is their best. Fav tracks: "Give Love/Get Love", "Hangin' On", "Human Nature" and "Next Time Around". Still prefer the debut and "Mood Swings" though...
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