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Porcupine
     

Porcupine

by Lis Harvey
 
Following an EP and a live release, Porcupine represented the first full-length studio album for indie folk-rocker Lis Harvey. Sartorial comparisons to Lisa Loeb are so irresistible that many will unconsciously transfer them to the music as well, which almost works: Both artists are generally occupied with carving out "pretty" pop singles. However, Harvey's

Overview

Following an EP and a live release, Porcupine represented the first full-length studio album for indie folk-rocker Lis Harvey. Sartorial comparisons to Lisa Loeb are so irresistible that many will unconsciously transfer them to the music as well, which almost works: Both artists are generally occupied with carving out "pretty" pop singles. However, Harvey's lyrics tend to be more dismissive than Loeb's passive-aggression, more outright prickly -- befitting this disc's title. Porcupine starts meekly -- Harvey overwhelmed by Joe Chellman's pedestrian percussion on the geographical longing of "Far Away," but picks up speed as she picks up self-confidence. Without strong hooks or intricate musical structures, everything hinges on her lyrics, which are generally effective, plaintive and occasionally poetic. Easily the best of the efforts is "Anything at All (The Spiderman Song)," a truly novel way of addressing the failure to be superhuman. (And in what is a tragic missed opportunity, Harvey relegates a far funkier and far more effective up-tempo version of the song to hidden-track status.) "Nothing Ruder" stands out as well, with its ruddy jazz bassline underscoring her declarations of ownership of her body and her life. The remainder of Porcupine finds Harvey searching for increasingly elusive metaphors for her romantic partners and life philosophy. In the end she apprehends little, though "Anything at All"'s observation that "we're all hopped up on free will" is as apt a summary of life's imperfection as anyone's attempted since Edie Brickell. Musically nondescript and vocally unchallenging, Porcupine is nevertheless a thoughtful and often enjoyable singer/songwriter effort, offering in lyrical acuity what it lacks in sonic flash.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/31/2004
Label:
LIS HARVEY
UPC:
0789577168329
catalogNumber:
90104

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lis Harvey   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Slide Guitar
Duncan Watt   Organ,Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Tambourine,Kalimba,Slide Guitar,Shaker,Jawbone

Technical Credits

Duncan Watt   Composer,Engineer
Dave Kaplan   Executive Producer
Phil Harvey   Executive Producer
Lis Harvey   Composer,Sound Effects,Contributor

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