Ed Harcourt - 'Furnaces'

8/10

Now fifteen years into his commercial career, Ed Harcourt has become one of those names you just seem to see everywhere. Whether it is on his own material or in collaboration, the progressive songwriter is always keeping himself busy and it is this work ethic that has kept the quality of his music so high. He returns with his seventh studio album 'Furnaces', a record that shows that the fire in his belly is far from being extinguished.

Taking an eclectic approach to its production, 'Furnaces' is led by Harcourt's own piano playing, and is built up in layers from there. If you wanted, you could completely strip away the excess, leaving just the keys and still have an incredibly powerful album. But this release is more about the show and spectacle of his work, adding gravitas and texture to his work through a varied composition that includes brass, percussion and strings.

In all, it is business as usual for Harcourt, whose own legacy is brimming with excellent contributions, we had no doubt he would return to blow us away once again. His engaged style of songwriting is just so likeable, it is sometimes hard to appreciate exactly how well this record has been put together.

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