From Every Sphere - Ed Harcourt

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. His honky-tonk piano ballads are a little less haunted and more memorable. [June 2003, p.104]
  2. 90
    From Every Sphere is the ultimate grower, which moves, in your mind, from quite nice to utterly compelling and addictive over a matter of days, or better, nights. [Album of the Month, March 2003, p.94]
  3. Harcourt experiments in more ways than one on this album, never overindulgent in the process.
  4. 86
    There's greatness there somewhere but Harcourt needs to spend more time feeling, not doing. [#5, p.91]
  5. His songs recall both the musical inventiveness of Captain Beefheart and the mopey poetry of Elliot Smith. [30 May 2003, p.116]
  6. He comes across like a smarter, gentler sidekick to Badly Drawn Boy.
  7. Harcourt might err too far towards gentle whimsy for rock fundamentalists, but otherwise 'From Every Sphere' is a rich treasure trove of sun-kissed grace and summery magic.
  8. Unlike his obvious contemporaries - David Gray and Tom McRae - Harcourt has produced an album that reaches out beyond the boundaries of the traditional songwriter, yet still comes packed with memorable melodies and robust songs.
  9. It's a move on from 'Here Be Monsters', musically if not lyrically, and, for all his world-weary posturing, he's still only 25 for God's sake, though obviously in love with the idea of being a great singer songwriter.
  10. While such diversity isn't necessarily a bad thing, it does tend to break the rhythm of his albums.
  11. 80
    A record that blows up like a supernova and runs the dinner-jacket nobility of its predecessor through a wood chipper. [#59, p.96]
  12. A work of polished vagaries, delivered with a real swagger.
  13. Harcourt would do himself well by spending a bit more time on his lyrics; a lot of the time it sounds as though he's just filling in the space between choruses.
  14. With a painterly command of the palette of sound and a fondness for the sweet melody of a lullaby, Harcourt is cousin to multi-instrumental songwriters such as Brian Wilson and Badly Drawn Boy.
  15. From Every Sphere is frequently let down by Harcourt’s mediocre songwriting.
  16. Like his debut, From Every Sphere chokes on moments of indigestible excess. [Mar 2003, p.108]
  17. To be fair, there is redemption embedded within, a few genuinely interesting bits wedged between stacks and stacks of gooey piano ballads.
  18. The listener's attention drifts as Harcourt dips into sleepy introspection, although his voice is so arresting that one won't wander for long.
  19. 40
    For every aching melodic twist and sagacious lyric, there's a lumpy, sub-Beach Boys dirge and dicing-with-doggerel couplet to negotiate. [Mar 2003, p.103]
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 1 more rating

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. matta
    Jul 18, 2005
    Wow, Pitchfork really are just a bunch of morons. If it isn't Radiohead or the like with some weird space music, electronic shit going on in the background then it just isn't good according to them. Well they can suck it. This album is incredible in every single way, one of the absolute best albums of 2003, right up there with Pernice Brothers, Sufjan Stevens, and The Notwist. Don't listen to the critics on this one; discover Ed harcourt and you won't regret it. Full Review »
  2. KB
    May 6, 2005
    Forget what the critics say. They wouldnt know genius if it came and bit them....yeah. I get the feeling from various interviews that Ed has disowed this album a little. But forget the naysayers, its magnificant. Full of harmony and class. Sometimes i think Ed's aspiring to be the 'new' Tom Waits but with this record he reached a place of his own. Theres drunken ballads a-plenty but also moments of weird instrumentation which bely an obvious broken heart. Plus the lyrics are grand. The guys obvously been reading a little Burroughs along with a good amount of the brothers Grimm. Bow down man, this is friggen genius. Full Review »
  3. GarrethO
    Apr 22, 2003
    Ok so nothing can be perfect but it's hard to imagine a much better album. I'm not his mum in disguise I genuinely am fascinated by this brilliant album. I spend all day waiting to come home and listen to it which has never happened to me with music before. The tunes are unforgetable and the arrangements are far more thought out than Here Be monsters. I was surprised it was so good up till now he was just a name on my CD rack, now he's like god or something. May all of his days be blessed. (and let him make another album this good) Full Review »