Release Date: 12.04.07
Record label: Electric Pig
Genre(s): Trance, Big Beat, Ambient, House, Trip-Hop, etc.
Easy listening mediocrity at it's best
by: Jamie Sampson
For a dedicated cynic it would be so easy to sum up and dismiss the entirety of Irish folk singer James Hara’s debut with the aptly titled track one, “Nothing New”. So delightfully easy, in fact, it’s almost asking for it. But luckily for the dextrously fingered Mr Hara, and for anyone interested in purchasing his record, I am not yet such a cynic. Sure it literally is nothing we haven’t heard before in the acoustic-based folk genre, from Damien Rice to Nick Drake and beyond. But James Hara isn’t trying to be a revolutionary, and after all, the mark of a good talent isn’t necessarily based on their ability to push boundaries. Although nowadays it seems you have to merge genres, make a ‘statement’, or play guitar with a wooden spoon and a chisel in order to get noticed, James Hara’s sound is good-old-fashioned-pleasant.
Although Hara’s melodious crooning is instantly likeable, repeated listens reveal unexpected lyrical sophistication. James Hara sure doesn’t sound like it, but as his digits seemingly glide over the strings of his guitar, he is in fact commenting on modern attitudes, personal irritations and wistful longings. Hara’s songs are more than simple serenades, they’re bittersweet outpourings of his soul, albeit in the most amiable way.
‘Take us to the Foxes’ is easy listening incarnate, and Hara’s soft vocals, cascading finger picks and intelligent lyrics will go down like honey on a spoon for all acoustic aficionados. Listen to this after a hard day at work with your feet up and a nice hot brew or icy beverage for maximum enjoyment.