46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
An all-around win!,
This review is from: Keith Harkin (Audio CD)
By far the most exciting tracks on the CD for me are the ones Keith wrote himself. I've listened to his songs before, so I had high expectations and I was not disappointed. "Daisy Fields" is catchy and true to Keith's style, but it isn't my favorite. I much preferred "Don't Forget About Me," a song that is both reflective and forward looking. With its upbeat, joyous attitude it is a great choice for a first single release. Keith knows that audiences love songs they can sing to, so he gave this tune a great hook. If you listen to it a few times I promise you'll find yourself humming it as you go about your day.
"Nothing But You & I" is an honest love song about discovery and longing. The way Keith delivers it, with genuine need and vulnerability, will touch your heart. "Rosa" has a lullaby feel to it - and I admit, I'm a sucker for a good lullaby. Keith's sincere vocals and the gentle piano will pull you into that tender moment when a father watches his baby girl sleep, knowing he has to leave her for a while. It is an intimate, touching song, reminiscent of Don Henley's "Annabelle" in a very good way.
I believe "Orange Moon" & "Take It Away Boys" are also Keith's own writing (I don't have my CD yet, so I'm basing that on his website that said 6 of his songs made it onto the album). I really enjoyed these two as well and thought they were a great addition to the album. Just a couple of comfortable country toons that give a lot of insight into who Keith is as a musician and singer.
Let me start by saying that Keith takes on some big landmarks as cover tunes go, especially Henley's "The End of the Innocence." I am a diehard Henley fan, so this was the cover song I most anticipated. I have to say Keith definitely makes it his Irish own. The pipes and whistle fit in so well that it becomes a fresh, unique version of the tune, but remains as powerful and convincing as the original.
The other song I really wanted to hear was "Have I Told You Lately." Keith and Colbie are a credible, balanced duet. David Foster's influence is there in the pairing of their complementary styles. It was a wise choice because Colbie fans are sure to love Keith's effortless vocal style and his guitar skills.
I wasn't familiar with the Waits version of "Heart of Saturday Night," but it struck me as just a good old fashioned country song. Keith is completely at ease with it, which pulls the listener into that same comfort zone. "Everybody's Talkin" is a song I knew but never really liked. I have to say I'm finding myself listening to Keith's version over and over. In contrast, I always did like "Here Comes the Sun" (again with the big shoes to fill), so for different reasons I'm surprised to find myself listening to that one again and again too.
Cover songs, by their nature, are something most people will listen to once out of curiosity. Keith picked his cover tunes well, though. Obviously they are songs he loves and he performs them with such passion that people will find his enthusiasm contagious. I think folks will find these covers are not simple do-overs of previous versions, and they will seek them out for their listening pleasure.
So... I saved my absolute favorite for last. I see the wisdom of releasing "Don't Forget About Me" as the first single, however... "Tears of Hercules," despite being a cover tune, is not to be missed. To say it is incredible would be understating. Of all the cover tracks, I found this song truest to Keith's talents. It is easily the best showcase of his vocal ability both range and delivery, and with the exception of "Rosa" it is the most emotionally evocative piece on the album. If he does the talk show circuit I think "Tears.." would be a strong second choice to perform.
All in all, I highly recommend this CD. It is a great debut and will appeal to both Keith's long-time fans and folks who are absolutely new to his music. It is a win all around! :)
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 18, 2012 12:51:03 PM PDT
Judith W. Cherrinton says:
Yes, I believe that Tears of Hercules is one of his best. I keep playing it over and over. Great song!!!
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2012 1:55:03 PM PDT
Lesa Holstine says:
Count me as another one who loved Tears of Hercules. Beautiful job by Keith.
Posted on Sep 18, 2012 7:48:04 PM PDT
Mike B. says:
I saw Tom Waits last night and when I told him his song "Heart of Saturday Night" is on this album he said it hurt him worse than when the the Eagles did "Ole '55"
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 19, 2012 11:21:37 AM PDT
Lori Campbell says:
Hi Amy! That's disappointing to hear. I wonder if the other 7 people who covered "Ol' 55" on their albums bothered Tom too. Most songwriters are pretty cool with someone reviving one of their tunes, especially 37 years later. And if they do mind, the royalties take the sting out of it a bit. He didn't happen to mention being annoyed at Bob Seger, or Bruce Springsteen, or Rod Stewart (who won a Grammy for Downtown Train)? Actually, Scarlett Johansson just did 10 Waits cover songs on her debut album. How bizarre - after being covered as often as his songs have been - that he would bother to feel sad about Keith's cover in particular. I didn't actually know HoSN was a cover until I looked it up yesterday and listened to it (I was only 7 when that album was released). That's the great thing about cover tunes - they introduce some really GREAT music to younger generations who might never hear them otherwise. Until you told us Tom was upset I was kinda liking his original version too.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2012 11:36:20 AM PDT
Judith W. Cherrinton says:
Well you told M. Burst-Great Job!!
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