Saturday, March 29, 2014

Album Review: Keith Harkin - Keith Harkin

Keith Harkin is one of the voices of Celtic Thunder, but you wouldn't know that listening to his solo album entitled simply Keith Harkin.

This album consists of 6 cover songs and 6 original compositions.  Most of the time you wouldn't believe that Keith is a member of Celtic Thunder, except on Don Henley's "End Of The Innocence." On this particular song, the Irish in him really shines through. It is perhaps because it has the biggest arrangement of all twelve songs.

As you move on to "Daisy Fields" you start to here what the "real" Keith Harkin sounds like. There's a hint of Ireland to him, but his songs are more folksy and simple.  These are the songs that really shine on this album.

"Nothing But You and I" is a love song that will stand up with the best of them. At times, when listening to Harkin you may catch yourself thinking you're listening to John Mayer. Older fans may think he sounds a bit like Justin Hayward. Mr. Harkin also bares an uncanny resemblance to the Moody frontman. You'll notice this resemblance (musically) on "Don't Forget About Me." The lyrics and Harkin's laid back style feel like they could have been ripped from Hayward's  The View From The Hill.  Be warned, this song will worm its way into your brain.

Don't fret if you like a more rollicking tune. "Take It Away Boys" is a fun spirited offering.
The open road has got much to offer. The open road's for me.

These lines should accompany everyone on their next road trip.

There are two covers that will blow classic rock lover's minds, "Everybody's Talkin'" and "Here Comes The Sun" for very different reasons. "Everybody's Talkin" sounds so much like Harry Nilsson's 1969 original. "Here Comes The Sun" is given a burst of new life, without changing the arrangement much. It does George Harrison proud.

Keith shows his Irish on the stunning ballad "Tears Of Hercules" This is more theatrical song that could easily show up with the rest of the Celtic Thunder crew. The lyrics are full of emotion. This is the kind of song that can bring a tear to the eye.

If any song really stands out on a near perfect record it would be "Orange Moon." Keith goes the root of many guys from the British Isles, and gives this stunning tune a slightly country feel. There's nothing better than a lovely Irish accent trying to sound southern.

The only downfall to this album is his cover of "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You." This song has always been too sappy for human consumption. (Sorry Rod Stewart)  When you add the vocals of Colbie Caillat, it just makes the song a bit to sweet. It is a case of too much of a good thing. Plus, the song wasn't meant to be a duet.

One throwaway song out of 12 is pretty good, in an industry where most albums are throwaways. If you want a taste of one of the Celtic Thunder boys away from the spotlight of the band, you definitely want to grab this album.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Watch: Don't Forget About Me

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