Saturday, September 23, 2006

Mark Holley - Harbour The Pain

Hear The Track Here

Reviewing Mark Holley these days is pretty much reviewing the other Mark too - Mark Alexander to be precise - because he has ALL the vocal duties on this track. Both Mark's are, of course, MP3 Unsigned artists who have had a good many reviews from me, the bulk of them being relatively favourable. Considering my usual crabbiness towards singer/songwriters (as they both are) that's not bad going at all. However, I noticed when I was downloading the track that Mark H commented that this was a classically based peice so all that may change right now... :D

Not sure who the mysterious lyricist is that Mark H is referring to in the song comments but whoever it is knows how to craft a word or two. Essentially a tale of a woman undergoing an illness that robs her of her hearing, which means she would never be able to hear the song that had been written for her. Yeah, nice, pleasant up-beat style, exactly what we need now that winter looms on the horizon. I have to admit that I don't do classical/ballad very gracefully, as many of you already know, and Harbour The Pain is a bit of both - not a good start. However, both Mark's undoubtedly work well together and this collaboration has raised Mark Alexander's game tremendously.

I blush to say this but when I was a young sprog I was heavily into an unknown Canadian band called Klaatu an embyronic pomp rock band, and Harbour The Pain definitely has a Klaatu quality about it. Again, Mark Alexander rules the roost here with a terrific vocal on an obviously demanding lyrical structure. Also to be noted are his own vocal embellishments, all round great work. It has to be said that Harbour The Pain will be a difficult listen, because of the lyrical context, flow and the musical structure, all not designed for a quick drive-by listen. It's a track that demands the listeners attention or tells them to sod off, and that is how I think it should be. Both Mark's (and their unknown lyricist) should only feel the greatest satisfaction that they took a very complicated peice and made it work beautifully. Even to the point of winning over an old curmudgeon like this reviewer.

Class track that will take some time to sink in. Recommended.

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