One Of The Best

After seven years in the business Ed Harcourt has totalled up a grand sum of five albums, not bad going really. With such a catalogue to draw from it seems only right that Harcourt is releasing a best of album, imaginatively entitled 'Until Tomorrow Than' to showcase the magnitude of his work. Encompassing tracks from all five of his albums, 'Until Tomorrow Than' captures everything you could ever possibly want from Harcourt, from the scratchiness of 'Apple Of My Eye' from his debut mini album all the way through to 'Visit From The Dead Dog' from last year's release. Jaunty and fun packed; 'Until Tomorrow Then' contains the beauty of Harcourt's soul fused song writing in all their glory.

Light-hearted and carefree, 'Born In The 70s' kicks things off on a lively energetic footing as jangle doused beats dance around with lyrics dripping in emotion and joy as Harcourt wraps you in a nostalgically warm hug. From this 'Until Tomorrow Then' continues to surprise and please as cheery beats mingle with sublimely enthralling vocals from the chipper 'She Fell Into My Arms' to the more sedate and melancholy grace of 'Black Dress'. But Harcourt is no one trick pony as the bombastic grandeur of 'Watching The Sun Goes Up' proves. Soaring until it literally bursts out of the speakers; 'Watching The Sun Come Up' whirls around in jubilant daze that will make you glad to be alive. Like an optimistic Damien Rice, Harcourt takes you into his confidence with carefree ease, letting you venture into his world and rewarding you with songs that skip and dance playfully around his passion packed lyrics; put simply it is engagingly wonderful.

As if to prove the world is not a sugar coated play in the sunshine, Harcourt even manages to deliver the harsher side of life and love. With a gravel tinged voice 'This One's For You' sombrely pronounces "I feel so far away from love" as Harcourt goes onto dedicate the song to a special someone. 'Shadowboxing' takes things one step further with an infectious bone shaking drum beat to pound home how we shadowbox around issues to great effective. In the end though it is the heartfelt starkness of 'Whistle Of A Distant Train' that delivers the fatal blow as Harcourt reflects on falling helplessly in love with mournful brass adding a nostalgically timeless touch to the track; hauntingly mesmerising.

On the one hand it is criminal that Harcourt has remained a secret from the mainstream for the past seven years when a hoard of singer/songwriters far inferior to Harcourt have hogged the limelight. However, there's a part of you that is grateful for this fact, a part that basks in the knowledge that Harcourt is a well kept secret for the lucky few to enjoy however harsh this maybe on the ones who've missed out because the truth is you will be missing out, missing out on one of the best in the business and that is no secret.