Tony Harn — Revealed in Black and White
((Not on label) THCD-004, 2006, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2007-03-01
Tony Harn’s latest is another easy recommendation for Exposé readers of all stripes. After flirting with a group format on his last outing, the English guitarist’s fourth album is a return to the approach of his first two excellent albums, From the Inside and Lifebox. Many of these songs exhibit his penchant for hypnotic arrangements focused on his delicate and agile guitar work. He never pushes or forces ideas, but instead lays down patterns and melodic lines that weave together in a way that’s utterly intoxicating. The most immediate reference points are Andy Summers and Pat Metheny with traces of John Scofield and Robert Fripp, though you never sense that Harn is aping other guitarists. Much of this has to do with the do-it-yourself approach he employs that builds compositions from the ground up based on multi-tracked guitars plus occasional percussion (digital) and bass. The album demonstrates how to build fully realized songs as a solo musician, and though Harn makes liberal use of loops and programming these are always serving a higher compositional purpose. This is best seen in the epic-length title track, where Harn builds layers of acoustic guitars that investigate myriad intersecting lines and melodic structures. While he flirts with modern rhythmic techniques and bits of experimentation, the overriding vibe of the album is soothing and refreshing, though things take a dirtier, Porcupine Tree sounding turn on “Hurdles” and Harn’s Police influences show in “Extravagance in Blue,” that starts off reggae-flavored but then shifts gears into an 80s pop groove. Delicious!
Related artist(s): Tony Harn
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more