ED HARCOURT From Every Sphere (EMI) Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Ed Harcourt loves to brag about the number of songs he has in the chamber, claiming that he had some 400 tunes to choose from for his sophomore disc. You'd think he could have made a better selection on From Every Sphere. To be honest, though, the underwhelming feel here isn't entirely Harcourt's fault. The mid-tempo piano-driven ballads are pleasant enough but miss the steady guidance of past producer Tim Holmes. Recording at Real World with Tchad Blake was certainly a good idea, but it sounds like Blake, who was also massaging Peter Gabriel's latest bloated epic at the same time, couldn't give Harcourt his full attention, and the songwriter ends up sounding more like Travis than he'd probably like. Ed Harcourt stops into Lee's Palace June 14.