Hess is Harry Hess, the only vocalist for the now defunct Canadian melodic rock act Harem Scarem. The band disbanded in 2008, but Hess not been idle. He cut an album, First Signal, on Frontiers Records in 2010 with producer/musician extraordinaire Dennis Ward, and a host of great AOR musicians. He also runs a prosperous studio in his homeland working with a long list players including Muse and Three Days Grace.
Now he takes the time out to focus on his own songwriting and vocal performance, cutting his second solo, Living in Yesterday, the first since 2003's Just Another Day. Besides his excellent skills, the album includes input from former Harem Scarem members Peter Lesperance and Creighton Doane, but also AOR great Tommy Denander and guitar slinger and composer Magnus Karlsson. If you want the best, go with the best: works for me.
The result is pure AOR melodic rock. Living in Yesterday is indicative of the music; Hess is not going for modern nuances or even melodic prog rock which Harem Scarem could touch on. This is classic material, arena ready or even album oriented radio friendly songs. These tunes are long on melody, wistful catchy lyrics, lush vocal arrangements, and big guitar solos. The only matter here maybe deciding if this music borders on the side of (melodic) hard rock. The title cut, Reach for You, or Where to Run, by example, are edgier and heavier.
It's all good. From Harry Hess' songwriting skills to his effortless and strong vocals to the exceptional musicianship, Living in Yesterday delivers the goods: genuine, lively, and entertaining AOR melodic rock, and not to be missed. Recommended.
From Harry Hess' songwriting skills to his effortless and strong vocals to the exceptional musicianship, Living in Yesterday delivers the goods: genuine, lively, and entertaining AOR melodic rock, and not to be missed.
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