Ed Harcourt: Lustre | CD review

(Piano Wolf)

You could get the wrong idea from the cover of Lustre, which depicts Harcourt, his wife and their young daughter huddled against an apocalyptic sky. The Sussex brooder's first studio album in four years is reflective and occasionally darkish, but he's apparently too entranced by fatherhood to be properly morose nowadays. These full-figured songs have ambitiously big arrangements that reference Phil Spector, and, on a love song to his daughter called Fears of a Father, a sliver of Roy Orbison's stately melancholy. Wife Gita's band, the Langley Sisters, contribute yet another texture to what's already a rich mix; their girl-pop vocals are delicious on the jaunty Do as I Say, Not as I Do. But while emotionally fulfilled, Harcourt has bile saved up for, among other things, "the nanny state", religion and "boys with their guitars who milk lachrymosity" (see what he did there?). Very satisfying.


Caroline Sullivan

The GuardianTramp

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