Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Harmacy
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Audio CD|Change
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on April 29, 1999
When I first heard Harmacy, the opening track shocked me with its incredible beauty. Lou Barlow has written many beautiful songs, but "On Fire" tops them all. And the tracks which follow are the same kind of mix of power and beauty which I thought Sebadoh had perfected on Bakesale. But they surpass Bakesale on this one. Buy this album--if you like beautiful and powerful rock, you will not be disappointed. I also have to mention that one critic said they listened to this album over and over again and "didn't get it." If you believe as I do that there isn't anything profound or important to "get" about an album, and the experience of incredible music you want to listen to over and over again is all you want, buy this album.
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on May 26, 2000
I have a curse--any band I like either breaks up, folds, or has a member die in it. For a long time, I figured Sebadoh would be immune from this curse, but it appears they may at last have succumbed. If you've never heard of this trio, then get this album to see why I would mourn their passing.
Fittingly, there are really three styles apparent in this album, alternating between songs: basic, quirky, almost folksy tunes ("On Fire" - the lead track, which will stick in your head on the first listen--my favorite tune on the album), "Ocean", "Willing to Wait", "Too Pure", "Perfect Way", "Open Ended", and "Weed Against Speed". The majority of these are Lou Barlow's work, and they're full of soulful brooding.
Secondly, there are college alternarock-style songs: "Prince-S", "Beauty of the Ride", "Mindreader" and "Can't Give Up" (hints of Pearl Jam), "Sforzande!", "Zone Doubt", and "Worst Thing" (hints of the Pixies or Nirvana). When I say "hints of", I think the better known bands were more likely influenced by Sebadoh, and not the other way around.
Finally, there are stripped-down, crunchy, punky/grungy tunes in "Nothing Like You" (hints of Sonic Youth), "Crystal Gypsy", "Hillbilly II", "Love to Fight", and "I Smell a Rat".
These different styles might be jarring to a casual listener, trying to figure out what the heck Sebadoh's about. but that's what makes them so cool. When "alternative" became mainstream, it was nice to hear Sebadoh avoiding being pigeonholed and doing what they wanted.
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on June 20, 2004
After the semi-success of Folk Implosion in 1995 with the song Natural One. Fans were eagerly waiting to see what Lou Barlow would do next. The result is this.
Harmacy is a total indie sound. No more low-fi, no more Eric. We're in the NORMAL stage now. With songs like On Fire, Willing to Wait, Beauty of the Ride and Open Ended making this seem more like an almost different band but the songwriting is still there as is the hard rock/punky songs to fill in for these more pop sounding songs. The harder songs are actually the better ones, but something comes to mind. Without Eric writing these, they sound disturbingly close to Mudhoney or Nirvana especially Crystal Gypsy and Love to Fight which have the grungy guitar sounds and the Mark Arm-like signing. Then there's Can't give up, Worst thing and Nothing like you which sound like Nirvana-esque tunes. Can't give up actually reminds me of Pearl Jam a bit in some cases. A few instrumentals on here also, Weed against Speed (I'd take speed), Szforando! (don't quite get it) and Hillbilly II (hilarious Mudhoney-type song) which make for some jammin songs with no signing. The whole album is worth listining too if you're a new fan to Sebadoh (This was the first I got from Lou) the sound is there and so is the soungwriting but it does lose a star for the lack of ANGER. The past albums had more emotion and anger to fill the void of these depressing love songs goen wrong. And without Eric there, I think half the anger is gone (if you don't believe me, then listen too "As the world dies from Sebadoh III). But still Sebadoh snowballs as you progress into their catalouge of music.
What's next after this? Try the Freed Weed or Bakesale if you're a new fan.
I highly recommend this awesome piece of indie rock.
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on November 25, 2001
Prior to purchasing this album, I had heard so much exasperated to-do from other fans about how it was "below" anything else Sebadoh had put out, that I became all the more attracted to it, and knew it was likely to be favored by my unconventional self.
Likewise I was correct. Anymore it seems like albums aren't worth taking a chance with, but this little treasure clearly defied that weary statement. Putting the collective opinions aside, and focusing on the pinnacle of the music, the tragically restless crooning of Lou and glimmering guitar strums magnifies, the catchiness prevails and Jason sanctifies his frustrated cries.
"Prince-S" conveys amusingly honest lyrics, but the music that supports it is an intangibly firm ballad of the lonely, cool quality that is indie rock. My personal favorite on the album :)
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on May 4, 2000
BLISSFULL,MOVING...THOSE TROUBADOURS HAVE AGAIN PRODUCED A ALBUM THAT ANYONE WHOSE FELT THE PAIN/ JOY/FEAR OF RELATIONSHIPS CAN TAKE SOLACE IN... SOMETIMES ROCKY,OTHERTIMES ETHERAL,BARLOW AND CO. KNOW HOW TO ONE MINUTE TUG ON HEART STRINGS,THEN NEXT MINUTE TELL YOU ITS GONNA BE COOL,NOW ITS TIME TO LIVE...THE MOST EMOTIVE THING I'VE HEARD FOR A LONG TIME....NOT A CLASSIC,BUT WHILE PEOPLE MAKE MISTAKES,FALL IN AND OUT OF LOVE,HURT EACH OTHER,AND MISS OPPORTUNITES AND CONNECTIONS,MUSIC LIKE THIS MUST CONTINUE TO BE MADE,AND IN THIS COLD UNFEELING AGE,ITS ALL SOME PEOPLE HAVE...
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on October 30, 2000
Of all Sebadoh's albums, this is the one that I found hard to leave behind. Bubble and Scrape is probably the most indicative of Sebadoh's style, but Harmacy is chokeful of heart stringing songs, the ones that make you wish you did not have that breakup, the ones that make you wanted to go back and listen to with your head between the speaker, post-breakdown. While most of their contemporaries have gone down extra-weird, split or gone into some uncharted territorries, Sebadoh's up there in the place they know best. We're not worthy, Lou!.
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on August 5, 1999
great album but also the most depressing album i've ever heard. 19 songs 3 instrumental leave 16 lyrical songs 15 of which are about a failed relationship and one about a battle with heroin
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on May 18, 2009
This is a fantastic album by an awesome band! Lots of hard rocking, guitar driven tunes, and several quieter ones. Probably in the top three best Sebadoh albums.
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on March 17, 2006
The main thing that has been in the way of Barlows excellent songwriting were other bandmembers. Now also only half of the songs are from his hand while the others were penned by Jason Loewenstein. Loewenstein certainly not is a bad writer, he just is not in the same league as the fragile songs of Barlow.

There are some great faster songs like 'Ocean' and 'Beauty of the Ride' but it's the slower songs like 'Too Pure' and 'On Fire' and most of all 'Willing To Wait' that are among Barlow's best.

It doesn't have the overall quality of Bakesale (Loewensteins best Sebadoh songs are on there) but Barlow's songs make it worthwhile.

For every fan of great songwriting.
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on November 4, 1998
This is one of the better Sebadoh c.d.'s. It isn't personally my favorite but it really is awesome. "On Fire" is a great song. I can sit there and listen to it over and over. This band is great because they have some mellow songs and some that are really wild, especially in "Bubble and Scrape" and "Smash your head on the punk rock" This c.d. is all mellow and that's what I like least about it. It is a great c.d. to just sit and chill to. It is very soothing.
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