Monday, May 17, 2010

Album Review: Harper Blynn – Loneliest Generation

I must be honest, friends, when I first saw the name Harper Blynn, I totally had images of immaculate hair, popped collars, and quite possibly madras plaid shorts. Refreshingly, however, instead of Harper Blynn being a superprep, Harper Blynn is a pretty good little band that’s made a pretty good little record. Formerly known as Pete & J (good call on the name change, guys), Harper Blynn is the brainchild of two NYC dudes (Pete Harper and Jason Blynn, natch). With a little help from some friends, these two have managed to concoct a pretty, harmony-drenched rock record, and I like said record quite a bit.

Loneliest Generation was produced by David Kahne, which should make you Strokes fans happy (he also produced The Strokes). It’s well-produced, very tight and smooth. The band prides themself on their “man-singing,” and their vocals are definitely worth writing home about. They’ve got some mean harmonies goin’ on here, and it’s pretty special when all four functional band members have great voices and know what to do with them. They sing songs of disaffectedness (“25 Years”, “This Is It”) and songs of yearning for love (“Steal Your Love”), but in a way that’s not at all gloomy or bleak. Instead, Harper Blynn’s songs are well-constructed, beautifully-played, and pretty dang fine. My favorite song, “It May Be Late,” is draped with melancholy, but somehow feels uplifting more than anything else.

All in all, Loneliest Generation is a solid debut. I’m betting it sounds even better live, so I sure do hope the boys come back down this way in the near future. But in the meantime, I’ll be listening to them on record for quite a while to come.

mp3: It May Be Late (Harper Blynn from Loneliest Generation)

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