The Beautiful Lie

  • Record Label: Dovecote
  • Release Date: Jun 3, 2008
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Beautiful Lie is an invigorating and frequently gorgeous affair, essential for old fans and a good place to start for newcomers.
  2. Mojo
    80
    Marvellous. [Jul 2006, p.106]
  3. Even the moments when Harcourt just falls short are infinitely more interesting than most people's failures.
  4. Harcourt’s sound might not suit everyone’s taste (it’s fairly dramatic), but to those who are taken with well-sung, introspective piano ballads and gloriously cascading anthems about Love and Death, The Beautiful Lie will in no way disappoint.
  5. Under The Radar
    80
    As is typical of Harcourt's releases, some selections of The Beautiful Lie require time to reveal themselves, which is why slow-burners such as 'Braille' and 'Good Friends Are Hard to Find' have "buried treasure written all over them. [Spring 2008, p.76] [Spring 2008, p.76]
  6. Harcourt's fourth album certifies his musical genius with songs that are catchy enough to be plastered all over the summer airwaves, bathing us in sweeping melodies and infectious beats.
  7. Another almost-but-not-quite entry in a catalog full of near-miss gems.
  8. Q Magazine
    70
    His best since 2001's Here Be Monsters. [Jul 2006, p.114]
  9. Despite all of the ingredients for a great album being present, it just doesn’t ignite, perhaps due to the unmoving, maudlin stance from which it is all delivered.
  10. He loses focus on this overlong, under-achieving album.
  11. It might as well be Harcourt’s thesis: marrying the histrionic truths of the deeply aggrieved with the formal mastery of great pop. More often, Harcourt’s failed attempts at mimicking Jeff Buckley throw whatever genre he tries off balance.
  12. "The Beautiful Lie" isn't without its merits but their appearances are few and far between.
  13. Uncut
    50
    Mostly sounds like a weary retread of 2005's superb Loneliness. [Jul 2006, p.95]
  14. Wading through almost an hour of smoky-voiced lonely-heart ballads like You Only Call Me When You're Drunk, Late Night Partner and Until Tomorrow Then is a yawn-inducing exercise that makes you question whether Harcourt's really this sad or if he's just putting on a lugubrious front.
  15. The brio of an amateur would almost have to be preferably to the overzealous professionalism of Beautiful Lie, whose frilly "classicist" pop gets all dressed up to go absolutely nowhere.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. RJ
    Oct 24, 2006
    10
    Absolutely amazing album...new listeners might take some time to warm up to Harcourt's brooding style, but the songs on this album Absolutely amazing album...new listeners might take some time to warm up to Harcourt's brooding style, but the songs on this album display his sincerity and dramatic flair that has become sort of trademarks of his. This is Harcourt's most complete album to date. Buy it. Listen to it. Full Review »
  2. RennieM
    Jul 13, 2006
    9
    More 8.5, but a very very strong album... The end of "you always call me when your drunk" is a little unnecessary, but besides that its a More 8.5, but a very very strong album... The end of "you always call me when your drunk" is a little unnecessary, but besides that its a stronger album then here be Monsters and right up there with From Every Sphere... With more listens it could possibly be his best. Ignore the critics!! Full Review »
  3. MattA.
    Jul 13, 2006
    9
    I have never gotten the critics lukewarm reaction to Harcourt's albums. While his lyrics haven't always been the best, his music I have never gotten the critics lukewarm reaction to Harcourt's albums. While his lyrics haven't always been the best, his music and melodies have always been innovative and beautiful. This album is no different, and it is lyrically his best album to date. This guy deserves better than the so-called critics are giving him. Full Review »