Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Their third release has no apparent monster single like "The Way," but the recording as a whole contains a higher number of strong songs. It rocks harder, and the band's previously overpowering influences--most notably Elvis Costello--are now beautifully integrated into a more developed and identifiable sound.
  2. Well-constructed but largely uninspiring... Its lyrics offer little that's dynamic or artful, so what are listeners really left with? Decent melodies, to be sure, and nicely produced tracks... But deep down, the music and lyrics rarely match up, and few songs establish a mood for long enough to hang your heart on.
  3. Fastball are, in general, a little wobbly on this CD, but their aim is true often enough to suggest that once they get the guest star syndrome out of their system, the hits could keep on coming.
  4. 60
    [I]f anything this album is less rock than the last one, while the droves of extra instruments are used more as decoration than as tools to create broad soundscapes.... Ultimately this album might be a step forward for Fastball, but they end up in essentially the same place.
  5. With each multi-layered cut, the trio shows pop songwriting skills not often seen in such cookie-cutter times -- especially in the particularly staid field of alt-rock.... this bold album takes you on an aural adventure of strings, guitars, and hooks paired with intelligent lyrics and taut instrumentation.
  6. The only significant change from their breakthrough effort, 1998's All the Pain Money Can Buy, is more expensive, expansive-sounding production and an increasingly overt Beatles influence in both the songs and sonics.
  7. 60
    With its brand of easily accessible pop rock, the Austin, Texas-based trio presents an extremely likable musical front that's based more upon influence than innovation.
  8. 60
    The Harsh Light of Day is being sold as a Great Album, which means ubersongcraft, which means the Beatles, and keep that pedigree coming. [Oct 2000, p.173]
  9. Traditionalist rock fans have got to be cheered by Fastball, a group plucky enough to take on teenage pop bands and rap-rock sensations with perky harmonies and piles of guitars. But in the end, songs like these shine brightest outside of the album context, as stand-alone songs coming out of the dashboard radio.
  10. 60
    Overall, Harsh doesn't lack for bright spots or catchy melodies, but ultimately, it doesn't move me.
  11. Does the world really need another mediocre pop-rock album rife with trite lyrics, aimless melodies and bloated production?
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. JeffH
    Nov 11, 2003
    10
    I think this album as a whole in better than All the Pain Money Can Buy. Funny how it fades away is one of the best songs I've heard. I think this album as a whole in better than All the Pain Money Can Buy. Funny how it fades away is one of the best songs I've heard. Whatever gets you one is a very nice finish to this seemless album. Full Review »
  2. JeffH
    Nov 11, 2003
    10
    I think this album as a whole in better than All the Pain Money Can Buy. Funny how it fades away is one of the best songs I've heard. I think this album as a whole in better than All the Pain Money Can Buy. Funny how it fades away is one of the best songs I've heard. Whatever gets you one is a very nice finish to this seemless album. Full Review »
  3. JeffH
    Nov 11, 2003
    10
    I think this album as a whole in better than All the Pain Money Can Buy. Funny how it fades away is one of the best songs I've heard. I think this album as a whole in better than All the Pain Money Can Buy. Funny how it fades away is one of the best songs I've heard. Whatever gets you one is a very nice finish to this seemless album. Full Review »