Simeon Soul Charger -
Harmony Square

(CD 2012, 67:27, Gentle Art Of Music)

The tracks:
  1- Overture(3:29)
  2- Babylon Grove(5:32)
  3- Allīs Fair in Harmony Square(6:02)
  4- Miss Donce(3:14)
  5- Spinning Across The Grass(2:29)
  6- Doris(2:12)
  7- Oh What A Beastly Boy(3:18)
  8- The Piper's Prize(2:41)
  9- The Devil's Rhapsody(5:20)
10- The Changing Wind And Reign(6:11)
11- The Advent Of Awakening(6:21)
12- King Charles Norman's Castle(8:01)
13- See Sharp(2:55)
14- Rayoweith's Guillotine(3:43)
15- Ashes(5:57)

Simeon Soul Charger Website        Gentle Art Of Music

The second album by the American quartet Simeon Soul Charger, consisting of Aaron Brooks (vocals, guitar, piano), Rick Phillips (lead guitar, vocals), Kevin Bjerre (cello) and Joe Kidd (drums), is a psychedelic rock opera called Harmony Square. It's a concept album dealing with oppression, shameless exploitation and the obvious resulting revolt against all this. The protagonist finds himself at the Harmony Square, the market place of a secluded village and he experiences difficult solutions against this oppression and exploitation. So, the story is quite intriguing and rather ambitious; the music, however, is quite tiresome and predictable.

Furthermore the album contains excessive vocals and these vocal parts are too nasal and too monotonous to impress me. Some of the tracks, like for instance All's Fair In Harmony Square and Miss Donce, actually sound like folk pop to me as Simeon Soul Charger use instruments like the flute, strings and self-made percussion instruments. The majority of the fifteen songs are too tiresome to enjoy and that's mostly due to the irritating voice of Brooks. Moreover, the album is with almost seventy minutes way too long and the compositions sound too much alike to name one specific highlight. If you're into folk rock or folk pop with lots of singing then you might enjoy Harmony Square. In that case give it a try!

** Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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