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Feel

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Feel, the seventh album from Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Jesse Harris, makes two important points. First, it confirms that Harris possesses a distinctive voice, both as a performer and composer. The album is intimate, gently romantic, wistful, and humorous, and above all, equipped to stimulate those who appreciate craftsmanship and touch all who take time to listen. The second point stems from the first: Jesse Harris has a history and a talent that goes beyond the impact he made as author of "Don't Know Why," the song that helped launch Norah Jones' phenomenal career. That song, exceptional as it is, reflects Harris' standard level of accomplishment as a composer. It's no accident that those who have covered his work - Madeleine Peyroux, Pat Metheny, Lizz Wright, and Jones - are masters of interpretation, artists who work best when working with the best material. Nor is it a coincidence that Harris's talents have led him into film work, most recently as composer and producer of the soundtrack to Ethan Hawke's The Hottest State (out on Think Films in August 2007), where Harris' songs are interpreted by the likes of Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Brad Mehldau, Cat Power, Feist and other major artists. What is unusual, amidst all of this, is how Feel exceeds the standards that Harris has set for himself. The crisp yet laidback groove and catchy vocal hook of the title track, the raindrop rhythm of guitar and hand drums on "I Don't Mind," the disarming wisdom of "Walk On," the ability to conjure deep atmosphere through the barest touches of banjo ("How Could It Take So Long" and "I Would"), rolling snare ("Where to Start"), or strings ("You and Me") ... in fact, each moment of Feel testifies to Harris's gift for assembling the simplest elements into pictures and stories whose impact is far from simplistic.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 10, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Velour Recordings
  • ASIN: B000R7I34Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #540,360 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I usually don't take the time to write about records on here but I couldn't help myself. "Feel" is a masterpiece. It is as catchy and effortless as it is deep and soulful. Jesse Harris is one of the few that gives me faith in the over saturated/under inspired genre of singer/songwriter.
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Format: Audio CD
The first song, "Feel" captures you right away, but then the next songs start to blur and you're not so sure. But, I can report that after listening to the album nonstop for several days now, this one is addicting and beautiful. There isn't really a weak song on it, except for maybe the last one, but everybody seems to like that one so I'll go along.
Beginning with Mineral (even before, in a more rock-ish way), Harris has become like an aural artist or a tone painter. In another era, he might have been like Ravel, Satie or Debussy. The sound is spare, and fills the space only when necessary. Harris chose his accompanying musicians well, and you see how rich the choices are around The Living Room back in NYC...a pool which includes Norah Jones and her band. Here, Tim Lunzel plays some creative bass and Andrew Borger, the drummer (or really percussionist) for The Handsome Band, handles the rhythm instruments. Borger is the perfect choice; he's maturing into a very interesting, jazzy, idiosyncratic drummer, perfect for Norah's sound but clearly just right for this disc, too.
Harris' lyrics, even though he's the guy who wrote "Don't Know Why," on this disc often seem like they are either not important, not thought through...or maybe it would be better if he teamed up with a really good lyric writer amongst his Living Room colleagues, such as Richard Julian or Lee Alexander. But, even that criticism fades the more you listen to this disc. The lyrics are also kind of impressionistic, or maybe improvised and childlike. I'll go four stars because the lyrics aren't 5-star level, but heck, maybe that's picking on something not that important.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Jesse Harris' CD "Feel" is at times moody, but is a very strong set with some great moments. "How Could It Take So Long?" chugs at its midtempo pace with a plucky banjo and harmonica and Harris' unassuming but affecting vocals, "Some need something they can lie on; Some need something they can die on; All I need's a bus to anywhere." "The Wind" meanders with Harris' voice seeming to long for something just out of reach, "Happy for awhile, the good times were out of style & April came & went colder than its ever been." "Shadow" has some pep with Harris' vocals like a newfound David Gray in a very sweet track. There are no big clunkers here. Overall, this is a very strong set. Enjoy!
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Format: Audio CD
Jesse's talent as a songwriter is so tremendous; it's amazing he can pull off being such a seductive performer and singer as well. "Feel" is simply a pleasure to listen to... the exotic percussion, his relaxed tone, and pensive lyrics stretched between catchy and soulful melodies. I can't recommend this album enough; "Feel" is one of those that you'll find yourself humming all day at work. Also, if you ever have the chance to see Jesse live, don't miss out. It's fantastic to watch the craft of such a talented songsmith unfolding on stage.
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