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Harvey Danger - Little by Little... (Cover Artwork)

Harvey Danger

Harvey Danger: Little by Little...Little by Little... (2005)
Phonographic

Reviewer Rating: 3


Contributed by: RyanMRyanM
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Harvey Danger may not be attempting anything remarkably different, but they show plenty of aptitude for playing immediately catchy and pleasing music that tends to draw listeners in with hooks, light-hearted, quirky piano play and excellent vocals. Their approach now focuses more appropriately on po.
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Harvey Danger may not be attempting anything remarkably different, but they show plenty of aptitude for playing immediately catchy and pleasing music that tends to draw listeners in with hooks, light-hearted, quirky piano play and excellent vocals. Their approach now focuses more appropriately on pop structures and a whole lot more keyboard (used well throughout the album, too), which makes some of the songs incredibly catchy (perhaps ironic now that they've moved away from the major label) without seeming too overproduced. The most noticeable flaw is the drop off in the later stages of the album, where they simply cannot maintain the same level as through the much better first half.

The production value has been upped for Little, which helps the change in emphasis in the music; and while it allows room for more aggressive parts, ("Cream and Bastards Rise") it also scores big through centerpiece "Little Round Mirrors." The former is pushed heavily by Evan Sult on drums, while Sean Nelson's vocals careen through the song with enough bite to make it believable. Meanwhile, the album seems to build into and around the latter, which is arguably the best song on the album, building alongside a steady keyboard line and adding elements in all the right places to keep the song moving. The drums get emphasized more, a simple brass section adds a nice transition piece and the end bridge triumphantly stomps into the closing chorus, the energy having been completely turned around. Unfortunately, no other song attempts the same emotional approach, with the only other moody song being the depressed "What You Live By." The album flows fairly well, stressing more upbeat moods with a few sobering songs thrown in for breaks, and while there are songs that lag behind, nothing totally flops.

Harvey Danger won't change anyone's mind about this brand of indie pop (or whatever you wish to call it), but their movement toward the pop edge of the spectrum has produced some fairly strong results that are easily appreciable. Harvey Danger have shown they have the ability to put these pop structures to use in various ways to bring about differing moods, and while some moments are less inspired, the whole comes off as a successful, polished work.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
coldwaffles (July 21, 2007)

Absolutely love Cream and Bastards Rise, Moral, Mirrors, and especially Wine, Women and Song, What You Live By, and Happiness Writes White. Such an amazing album, I love the vocals and piano/keys a lot.

Anonymous (January 30, 2006)

glad to see people appreciating King James Version. that's one of the most underrated rock records out there. and now it's out of print, but pretty readily available in used bins. everyone should pick it up and be amazed.

this record is good. not AS good as i expected after KJV, but a definite fun, catchy pop record. "wine women and song" and "little round mirrors" are up there with their best songs.

Anonymous (January 28, 2006)

They cut off my legs, now I'm an amputee, God damn you!

Anonymous (January 28, 2006)

King James Version absolutely murders this album and the first album. But those two are good too. KJV is a complete musical masterpiece

Anonymous (January 27, 2006)

The drummer is no longer Evan Sult (moved to Chicago), by the way, but the fantastically adept Michael Welke. A damn fine replacement!

maverick (January 27, 2006)

Both of their major-label records were absolute gems that most of the world slept on (especially 2000's King James Version), and both can probably be found in any cut-out bin for five dollars or less. I highly, highly, highly recommend both.

This one is good, but it's a bit too piano-y for me -- I wanted more rock, and got more pop. Still worth listening to, though.

-Scott

Anonymous (January 27, 2006)

I'm not sick but I'm not weeeeeeell.

thecaptain (January 27, 2006)

The "Save it for Later" cover is the best song they've done.

Anonymous (January 27, 2006)

Cool James, War Buddies, and Diminishing Returns and three songs about as good as any they have done. I was really suprised by how good this album is.

Dante3000 (January 27, 2006)

I dug this album a lot. But then again I got it for free (wait...that's easy to do). Anyhow, I'm going to listen to it right now...Well as soon as I get to the end of Jersey's Best Dancers
-Dante

Anonymous (January 27, 2006)

These fucking guys are still around? wow...kinda cool i guess.

---Trav.

Anonymous (January 27, 2006)

the last paragraph of this review reads like instructions to assembling something. strange.
-TOBB

AlmostPunkEnough (January 27, 2006)

this really isn't a bad album at all. good shit when you wanna hear some poppy rock.

it should be noted that the whole album is available as a BitTorrent on their website http://www.harveydanger.com/downloads/. so you should check it out.

Anonymous (January 27, 2006)

Merrymakers was indeed a damn fine album. And you know what, so is this. I thought this band had disappeared forver. Glad they didn't.

david_arquette (January 27, 2006)

I don't care what anyone says. Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone was a fantastic album.

Anonymous (January 27, 2006)

paranoia! paranoia!

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