Harem Scarem - Higher
Frontiers Records
Melodic Hard Rock
10 songs (37'41)
Release year: 2003
Harem Scarem, Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Ben

Harem Scarem’s last studio album Weight of the World was a bona fide Melodic Hard Rock monster that came and blew everyone into this particular genre away. It managed to stay melodic, filled with infectious hooks and yet it had a very modern tone to it which doesn’t usually happen nowadays with Melodic Hard Rock bands. After this bombshell I was eagerly awaiting their newest opus Higher and when it was finally announced I immediately put it on the top of my “to get” list. So what’s Higher sound like? Is it as good as Weight of the World is it the successor to Mood Swings? No, this is Higher not Weight of the World part II (although it comes close) or Mood Swings II.

Higher is a softer album than Weight of the World and a lot more modern as well. When I say modern I mean that I could actually hear some of these songs on the radio and I wouldn’t get mad. They have a great sense of catchy melodies and a tasteful pop flair to them as well. The best example to give someone an idea of what Higher is, is a mixture of their self titled debut in terms of lyrical content and the softer approach, and the current musical tones of Weight of the World taken one step further. The first song, Reach is the most up to date sounding song on here and it is the weakest as well. It seems as though the band tried to sound too trendy with this one, especially in the delivery of the verses but thankfully this is the only instance of that. Hopefully they wont decide to try that out again in the future. Waited comes next and is a ballad much like Hard to Love and just like Hard to Love it kicks a tremendous amount of ass. A soothing layering of acoustic guitars gives way in about forty seconds to a chorus and melody that is to die for. The buildup to this is short but very effective and powerful, definitely one of the highlights of the album. Another killer is next with Torn Right Out. This one again sounds like something that could find mass appeal with the world, it is a driving mid paced rock song with some more hooky choruses. The Harem Scarem trademarked vocal layering is also included in here to give it that extra push into greatness.

Speaking of catchiness and choruses its obvious the guys went for a streamlined approach seeing as almost every song is the verse / bridge / chorus pattern and the longest one has to wait for the chorus is about forty five seconds. It is also apparent that the main bulk of the songs strength is located in the hook factor of the choruses. I personally enjoy this because it is apparent that Harem Scarem deliver what their fans want to hear, upbeat melodic rock songs that you can nod your head along too.

More killing songs appear in the forms of Lucky Ones, Run and Hide, and Lies. Like the rest of the album they are mid paced rock songs and Lies is especially strong, it has a wonderful bridge that sells the song just like on Outside Your Window. Run and Hide is a pure melodic rock / pop hybrid and could convert a number of people to this style of music I’m sure. Ending on a much better note than it began with Lost closes out Higher with a hearty punch to it and brings this album to a close.

In the end, Higher is a great Melodic Hard Rock album. It doesn’t blow us away with anything inventive although it does get points for going after a modern feel to it without selling out or falling flat on its face. The songs are light and fun but they don’t stick in your head as hard as the ones off Weight of the World. It seems that the album is best taken in as whole to fully let it kick your ass whereas the first time I heard Killing Me or All I Want I was blown away. I recommend this album to fans of melodic rock and Harem Scarem fans can buy this without any worries at all.

Killing Songs :
Waited, Torn Right Out, Run and Hide, and Lucky Ones
Ben quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Harem Scarem that we have reviewed:
Harem Scarem - Change The World reviewed by Ben and quoted 89 / 100
Harem Scarem - United reviewed by Ben and quoted 88 / 100
Harem Scarem - Human Nature reviewed by Ben and quoted 89 / 100
Harem Scarem - Mood Swings reviewed by Ben and quoted 89 / 100
Harem Scarem - Overload reviewed by Ben and quoted 55 / 100
To see all 10 reviews click here
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