Ed Harcourt
The Beautiful Lie
(EMI)
The lusher the track on this album, the more one might imagine it as an instrumental, reflecting a greater shortage of gorgeous melodies than sensitive songs by young men. Harcourt does not let down those familiar with his special brand of ornate seething. “You Only Call Me When You’re Drunk” addresses the hazardous combination of alcohol and speed-dial. An optigan drives “Until Tomorrow Then,” with its uniquely English rhyme of “laugh” with “daft.” If it were allowed on the radio, “Rain on the Pretty Ones” would be capable of forcing drivers to pull over for a cry. His voice is just rough enough to make the beauty kill.
—Doug Taylor

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