The Canadians of HAREM SCAREM have been around for 15 years now and had 10 albums, so they must be doing something right, no? Well, they are back for an eleventh time now, titled "Human Nature" and one can definitely say that they have found their groove and also sound somewhat original within the Melodic Rock genre. There are a few factors contributing to this: For one Harry Hess' characteristic voice, which you will recognize among hundreds of singers of this genre and then there is this kind of peculiar mix of good mood Melodic Rock and a light Alternative touch in the guitars, giving the songs their own sound.
Now in the past they had started out as pure Melodic Rock, then stepped over into Alternative, after that came back to Melodic Rock and now add a little of both, but in a way that it will not repel either fan basis, but rather appeal to both of them, a status I am sure they can very well live with. I don't know how the previous album "Overload" had sounded (these guys churn out an album a year!), but "Human Nature" definitely fits right into the collection of the Canadians, catchy, groovy, not sappy, but pretty deep at times. Plus they do not just follow the same formulaic approach, but also dare to experiment a little, which is a big plus that sets them further apart from the pack.
The opening title track is Melodic Rock at its best, with a great lead, expressive vocals, typical HAREM SCAREM as we know and love them, no question! And that they are mastering the balladesque regions as well, well, just listen to "Caught Up In Your World" and "Hangin On", but the guys are not just that, but I had mentioned little experiments a little earlier, "Give Love/Get Love" has a definitive QUEEN influence in its layered chorus, while "21" is a good bit more modern in the guitar sound, but do not fret, with "Starlight" and "Tomorrow May Be Gone" they return to their trusted style of old.
"Human Nature" might not necessarily be their best effort (I am not sure, if they will ever reach "Mood Swings" again), but still has a lot of quality that will surely appeal to any fan of Melodic Rock and also Alternative Rockers should risk an ear, you might like it as well!
(Online February 8, 2007)