Har Mar Superstar: Bye Bye 17 (Cult Records, 2013)
Great opening track — Lady You Shot Me. It pulls you right in, the horn section is blazing and the singer just pumps the drama. I’m not a huge fan of the soul disco blend, but the second track, Prisoner, has a very bumpin’ rhythm section performance.
The singer, who I shall refer to as Mr. Har, has a loose singing style with a bout of shouter in him that I find pleasing. The third tune, Everywhere I’m Local, refers back to early 1960’s r&b pop and Mr. Har does a good job selling the sweetness of this track. The fourth tune, Restless leg, is a midtempo jaunt and I tune where I wanted more funk than the pop injection. The next tune 12:12 continues with the sweet vocals and arrangement over a brisk and bumpin’ drum/bass combo continues the theme of this record.
I think this guy is very talented, especially as an arranger and a vocalist, but I wanted more funk and that’s why I’m giving this record honorable mention rather than best of year status. If he had made it just a bit funkier I would be all over this record all the time.
And of course as soon as I typed that Mr. Har drops a funky burner called ‘We Don’t Sleep’ and then bounces back to that sweeter early ’60s sound with the tune Www.
So there you have it. Crushing rhythm section, you could build a house on that shit. Great singer with some looseness and flavor on the microphone, far above average arrangements, correction really straight up excellent arrangements with some particularly ear catching changes in a couple of songs, but I just wanted just a bit more funk.
Favorite Tracks: Lady, You Shot Me (1), We Don’t Sleep (6), Late Night Morning Light (10).