Harem Scarem Higher Frontiers Records
FRCD 166
· Produced By: Harry Hess & Pete Lesperance

· Running Time: 37.40

· Release Date: September 15

· Released: EU JP

· Musical Style: Melodic Rock

· Links: Frontiers Harem Scarem Now & Then
Songs: 100%
Sound: 100%
The writing partnership of Hess/Lesperance is the melodic rock equivalent to that of Lennon/McCartney. The duo is that good. As far as writing the best possible examples of the music we love, these guys are it.
They may vary their delivery, style and pace, but rarely do they write anything that isn't instantly likeable and memorable. And more importantly fans are guaranteed at least 2 or 3 absolute classics on every single album. Sometimes more. When you consider this is the band's 7th studio album (without counting the Rubber releases) – that adds up to more classic tracks than the vast majority of fellow artists.
Last years Weight Of The World album saw the guys return to their more classic melodic rock style, which also included a couple of modern friendly tracks and a very contemporary production.
The album had it all – it was the complete package.
So what could they do with Higher to in order to compete with that classic album and possibly even better it?
The band's answer was to combine the best parts of Weight Of The World with their much loved and more AOR styled self titled debut.
Higher is simply drenched in melodies and is more chorus friendly than any other album since the debut, yet it sounds very contemporary and quite refreshing thanks to the modern production.
This could almost be considered Weight Of The World's younger brother. This is an album that is a little softer and not as in your face, but filled with glorious harmony filled songs that experiment less and see the band really working the choruses.
Even better, those choruses are all connected by even more bridges, harmonies and hooks.
Track By Track:
Reach kicks off the album with typical Harem Scarem gusto. The track has a modern feel to it, especially in the delivery of the verse. Harry's vocals and the hard edged riff add something new to the band's repertoire, but come chorus time it's back to familiar territory. The track is a solid rocker and the heaviest number on the album, but isn't as original as other tracks. The arrangement has been heard before in such tracks as Believe, Voice Of Reason and Change Comes Around.
Waited is a definite contender for Song Of The Year. Starting soft, with a blanket of acoustic guitars, the song bursts to life with a chorus to die for. You only have to wait 40 seconds to reach this monster, emotional mid-tempo anthem that is as instant as it is perfect. Adding texture to the song is a mid-song tempo break before multi-choruses are laid on us. As classic as Hard To Love or Sentimental Blvd.
Torn Right Out could have been torn right out of Harry's own solo record, or the last album, with its more modern pop/rock vibe. But at its heart, this track is another melodic beast, with another big chorus and definite sing-along potential.
Give It To You is the only track that really touches on the band's love of nu-breed or modern rock on Higher. The songs has a similar vein as Weight Of The World tracks Killing Me and If You, and like those songs, features a huge chorus that all melodic fans will love.
Higher sees a return to the classic Mood Swings guitar sound and is another mix of that album and Weight Of The World. The title track is a lovely mid-tempo ballad in the vein of This Ain't Over or End Of Time. The song has a definite Def Leppard stadium feel to it and the multi-layered harmonies are nothing short of glorious!
This for me, is the most interesting and intense part of the album. We are at the half-way mark and I find that the last 5 tracks run together so perfectly, so seamlessly and with a pure melodic bliss that any band would find it hard to top such a run of great songs.
Run And Hide is the first track of this section. A moody vocal intro bursts into a pure pop/rock verse with a great vocal harmony that only these guys are capable of.
Then there's the chorus – f*** me. This feel good, hands in the air, sing-along monster is just perfect melodic rock. It's dressed up in 2003 clothing, but this is melodic rock in its purest and most perfect form. And when the guitar solo is over and the band burst straight back into the chorus, pants will be pissed across the melodic world.
But it's not a one off – it's now straight into Lucky Ones, a track that counters the pop bliss of Run And Hide by being darker and heavier. An acoustic verse is eclipsed by a moody rock verse that sees the band trying something new – both with song arrangement and vocal delivery. This is Higher's answer to Charmed Life off Weight Of The World.
Lies is next, which runs perfectly on from the dark and heavier rock of Lucky Ones. Another angst filled vocal from Harry fills the verse, before a great bridge changes tact and launches us into yet another massive chorus. This is another brilliant example of the genre at it's very best - the chorus is sheer melodic bliss. The vibe of the song matches With A Little Love from the band's debut, although quite heavier and featuring a great (but short) guitar solo.
Gone is introduced with a flurry of acoustic guitars. Another moody, but melodic vocal is only topped by another monster sing-along chorus. It's a little more restrained than the last couple of choruses, and a little softer, but no less impactful and is another magically memorable chorus.
It's hard to believe the last track is here already. More modern production tricks help keep the sound contemporary, with this track dominated by a great guitar riff.
A short bridge in the song lifts the temp a little and then drops us head first into yet another souring, hands-in-the-air chorus. This is another album favourite – if such a thing can be selected from all the great tracks on offer. It's an emotion and power filled rocker and the chorus is one of the band's best.
The Bottom Line
Why is this album better than WOTW? Because placed alongside each other I would rather listen to this. Powerful and memorable choruses – that's the key. It's 10 for 10 on Higher – an extraordinary feat. Every track has a chorus you can walk away humming. It's just going to be a different one each occasion.
Not many artists can claim such a right. Previously, when someone asks what is the best album to try to get into Harem Scarem, I would answer Weight Of The World, and also suggest the original classic Mood Swings, followed by the debut.
Now I will simply suggest Higher – as it features a combination of everything that has made the band great - the monster choruses we live for, intelligent songs and a powerful delivery all wrapped in a great production that keeps the music contemporary and open to all newcomers.
I don't think the sound is quite as snappy as it was with the last album – particularly that awesome drum sound, but I believe the songs on Higher to be so utterly essential that fans will rate this album as good as, if not better than the last album. But the production is still world class.
It's even possible that once reality sets in and you realize just how good the songs of Higher are – it could rate as the band's best album to date. You won't think that after the first couple of listens. But the consistency of the album is just too strong to ignore.
I have no hesitation in rating this a "perfect melodic rock album".
I've only done this on 4 previous occasions – Danger Danger (Return Of The Great GIldersleeves & Cockroach), Mecca and Harem Scarem's Weight Of The World.
I should also have done it for Steelhouse Lane's Slaves Of The New World, but I wasn't far off.
Where do the band go from here? Onwards an upwards I hope - my only suggestion is for longer songs and at least 12 tracks on any future album.
Studio Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Harem Scarem
· Mood Swings
· Voice Of Reason
· Believe / Karma Cleansing
· Big Bang Theory
· Rubber - Rubber
· Rubber - Ultra Feel
· Weight Of The World
· Higher

Line Up
· Harry Hess: Vocals
· Pete Lesperance: Guitar
· Craighton Doane: Drums
· Barry Donaghy: Bass

Essential for fans of:
· Harem Scarem
· Def Leppard
· Van Hagar, Steelhouse Lane
Track Listing
· Reach
· Waited*
· Torn Right Out
· Give It To You
· Higher
· Run and Hide*
· Lucky One
· Lies*
· Gone*
· Lost*

--*Best Tracks

07/12/06: Paul -
Rating: 93
A near flawless cd. Easier to point out the weaknesses... the opening track is a bit uneven. It's got a strong chorus, but the rest is weak. The only really average track on the cd is LUCKY ONES... other than that, this cd is better than most other acts greatest hits could ever hope to be. Fantastic!

15/01/05: Mark Kennedy -
Rating: 87
I don't know if this album quite deserves 100% ,but it's a damn good modern melodic rock release.I probably still prefer W.O.T.W. but that's only because it's abit of a fuller or longer album.It's good to see that some bands are trying to bring their old sound into the 21st century without changing direction altogether.I am stuck in my ways and can't seem to adapt to this down tuned/too modern approach like so many bands have tried and failed to do(Queensryche,Tesla,Europe,etc)but this is how it should be done.Brilliant.

31/07/04: Ian -
Rating: 99
Hard to criticise near perfection,however I will.Higher is too short on playing time.Otherwise,what a corking album.STUNNING...

30/03/04: Brad -
Rating: 97
I can't agree that this is even better than the amazing "Weight Of The World", but it is close. To me, this album is to "Weight" what the debut is to "Mood Swings"--a little less hard-rocking and more "poppy" but still utterly fantastic. I can't rave enough about each and every one of these songs. "Reach", "Higher", and "Lucky Ones" may be my favorites--but they all are incredible. Another melodic masterpiece by one of the best all-time bands in the genre. It's a crime that these guys don't get mainstream recognition; they deserve to be huge!

02/02/04: Scott -
Rating: 90
"Weight of the World" was my first Harem Scarem Cd and I was totally blown away. All killer and no filler. "Higher" is another very good album, though it doesn't have quite as much aggression as the previoius. Still, very good songwriting overall with teriffic chorus all throught.

04/12/03: Janx -
Rating: 99
This is the album I've been waiting for. Such a joy to listen to. Each passing track compounds the feeling that the album is an all-time classic. Some say Higher is too short. 10 tracks are not enough. They've missed the point. Keep it short and sweet - at the end of track 10 go directly to the beginning and play it over. Quality over quantity is the key. If Harem had padded the album out with one or two mediocre tracks it would have broken the spell. No, this is exactly how it should be.
My only question for Harry and Pete is this: What was with the fadeouts? I'm calling you on it in case you think I won't be watchdogging you on the next album. Did you mix on a troublesome desk? Or not play your songs out enough? Your fadeouts begin fine but then seem to have a rather abrupt dropoff.

29/11/03: Almir -
Rating: 95
With the only complain of being short (it deserves at least 2 more songs), this was the most surprising buy i did in 2003. Definitly the best cd of the year. It was my first HS cd and what a wellcome! You can listen anytime in any place with any mood. It suits perfectly in any occasion. Buy, but buy it NOW!

09/11/03: scott dixon -
Rating: 99
Harem should be the biggest band in the world no band can write better catchy melodic songs like peter and harry except for maybe jim peterick and frankie sulivan of survivor.this album does not have a bad song on it. i am still a big fan of the first album but this cd has great catchy songs.they need to come to the usa and show the music industry how good music should sound and then maybe gotthard will follow.any one who doesn't like this album must be tone deaf(just kidding but that' just how great the cd is)

09/11/03: jesse kye -
Rating: 85
I just got into them on there last disc,which i thought was great, but this is better. jesse kye

08/11/03: PEDRO ANTUNES -
Rating: 50
they surprised me with the last one… but this one…

07/11/03: bill -
Rating: 70
retep said it best! The choruses are catchy but I find myself hearing a bunch of "noise" in the background - nothing distinct or exciting. This is my first Harem Scarem purchase. I am still glad I bought it, but you can't compare this to the melodic pioneers (Foreigner, etc.). As for the new generation of melodic rockers, I would still take TEN for my money.

29/10/03: Michael -
Rating: 70
LOVED Weight of the World..felt alittle let down by this cd, its good but just lackes the balls of WOTW. Had this have been my first HAREM SACREM CD i wouldnt have come back for more.

27/10/03: Josue -
Rating: 80
I think 100% it's too exagerated. WOTW is better than this album. There's a song like End of time here??? NO. So can't be 100%. I think it's only an average album.

24/10/03: Tyler Tricarico -
Rating: 100
This is the first Harem Scarem album I have bought as I've been chasing "Early Years" well what a subsitute to start with! Harry Hess (Vocalist) has a classic husky voice for some bizzare reason he reminds me of Paul Shortino. My fav track is "Give it to you" its so melodic, chunky and wet. This album brings back memories of drinking copious amounts of piss and just partying with people with long hair,acid wash jeans and that elusive "metal shirt" making a statement (the classic years 1986>). Well if you love a melodic old fashioned style Rock/Metal album that you just cant stop playing go purchase now you wont be disapointed. :0)

23/10/03: bill -
Rating: 99
hi there!!!I think that cd really rocked my world,i found H.S. before a week ago, and i bought wotw cd.......F*&K i said thats good ........and now HIGHER............

17/10/03: retep -
Rating: 65
Sorry guys but I guess I just don't get it. I've listened to it enough times but it hasn't clicked.
Ok the choruses are generally catchy. But melodic to me means melodic music as well, not just the vocals. I find the fuzzy meaningless guitar sound a waste of time. All it does is make noise. Its like they've decided to put the melody in the vocals to carry the tunes, and couldn't be bothered with the actual music.
Perhaps its because I was brought up on a staple diet of Meat Loaf (Jim Steinman)and Magnum with healthy offerings of Survivor, Asia, Def Leppard that I find Harem Scarem a bit unpaletable by comparison.

05/10/03: Don Hosler -
Rating: 99
Simply put, these guys need to come to the United States and show all these Bizkit wannabees infesting our radio dials how to write killer songs, monster hooks, and re-introduce this "generation" to what real music should be. This stuff is just contemporary sounding enough to not sound dated in today's world but melodic enough and firmly drenched in 70s/80s hookville to keep you humming the choruses for days after hearing them
Here in the states it seems to be against the rules to have killer guitar solos and multi-layered vocal harmonies...
here's to Scarem for giving the proverbial finger to the rulebook and doing things their way-AND OURS !

28/09/03: MJ Kapel -
Rating: 98
Freddy to the window,the SHORT BUS is waiting to pick you up! This album is the FRONT RUNNER for album of the year!! Telling people the RAMOS album is superior to THIS is like telling someone that DOG CRAP tastes better than FILLET MINGON!! Only YOU could relate to that huh Freddy? I was not blown away by the first listen or 2 but thats the beauty of some albums...after several listens you 'get it'. I guess the term that fits best is INFECTIOUS GROOVES. After a few listens on different sound systems this album really grabbed me. One must also appreciate the rate at which these guys are releasing music. Too many bands are depriving fans of new music. Here we have 2 records released in 2 CONSECUTIVE of which(this one) is a MASTERPIECE! Bravo HAREM SCAREM! The only short comings of this release are the length of the album itself and the production quality. The sound quality is a bit muddy on this record. I prefer the crisp,well defined sound that was achieved on Mood Swings. The mix is not as well refined here. Funny that a record from 10 years ago can sound cleaner but it does. To this day Mood Swings stands out as one of the cleanest sounding rock recordings ever(I digress). The songs on this record are certainly the best by these fellas since those of MS. This band has evolved,matured and are still kicking ass. In short...this is easily THE BEST record released since THUNDER,Shooting at the Sun. This is a MUST HAVE record for all hard/melodic rock fans!!!! Freddy DeKyzer is a tool and his "reviews"(cough) should be banned from this site.

24/09/03: Geoff -
Rating: 91
First few listens I thought this was sensational and maybe the most consisent Harem Scarem album of all. I've had it a little longer now, listened to it many times and yes, the album is still excellent but a few of the songs are not so good a few listens later.

'Reach' is not my fave song at all. Some cool peices and the coming down part of the chorus is great. Not my fave track, but what you expect from Harem Scarem when starting out an album.
There's no need to talk about how good 'Waited' is because everyone already knows it. One of the best songs I've heard in ages and melodic hard rock bliss.
'Torn Right Out' is a cool modern rocker with a Rubber feel too it, but like the better stuff off the 'Ultra feel' album. Cool track.
'Give It To You' fails where the previous track passes. Another Rubber track that gets a little annoying after a few listens.
'Higher' is a beautiful balladic type track, with some great guitars, a big chorus and a very good feel to it. Great track.
'Run and Hide' and 'Waited' are my two fave tracks. This is a melodic hard rock gem with a huge chorus. Love this song!
'Lucky One' has one of my favourite intros/verses on the album. I love the sound of these verses and the chorus is big and very cool too. Another fave of mine.
'Lies' and 'Gone' are okay, but like 'Give it to you' are Rubber tracks and do get a little annoying if not in the right mood.
'Lost' finished the album in Harem Scarem bliss. Great track to close a great album.

Overall, I think WOTW was probably marginally a better release, though this one is fantastic and in the right mood all songs can be enjoyed a lot. Sometimes, though, their Rubber direction doesn't always fit in too well. Though I wouldn't skip any tracks on the CD, I do have my faves and they're a lot better than the rest. Excellent album, though, and it's once again melodic rock song writing at it's best. I can't stop playing this one and Cauterize. Bring on the next one!!!

24/09/03: Alex Lee Ericsson -
Rating: 70
Well...100 points ???? i love Harem Scarem's Mood Swing album very much, but then thing's have change...first of all i don't like anybody who ( sings ) and uses that Machine gun vibrato AAARRGHH like Belinda Carlisle those harem scarem.
Overall sound is one the best nowdays ( in this gentre )...but his style to sing just make me feel phrasing at all..same notes over and over again, if they can find a Vocalist , i think we're on track again..Hopelly someday they realize what's wrong?

22/09/03: Randy -
Rating: 99
I actually think no album could be 100 but listen to this album 4 times all the way through before you judge it. It does sound similar to their 1st two but something in the early 90's now sounds dated no matter how good it was or is. I am one of the biggest 80's early 90's music lovers alive but technology makes new recordings sound so much different. This album simply put is awesome. Enough said.

22/09/03: Steve Meehan -
Rating: 100
Awesome! How someone can describe the Ramos album as better is beyond belief. That wsa as AOR formula as you could get and the narative intro on songs is truly cheesy - Let alone the production! This however is pure quality - every song is laden with hooks, harmonies and great guitar riffs which, although a bit more subtle that WOW. are just as effective. Sorry to the doubters but i a) just can't put this down and b) can't understand how this much talent can go unrecognised when there is so much dross around - Andrew, your note about The Darkness in particular rings a bell - Mercury music prize? How could they discredit the great mans name? Sounds much like Jagger after 24 hours on the weed! HS are THE best thing around at the moment. Now if only Danny Vaughn could come up with an album full of the 'avalon' type of material then 2003 would be a year we could be proud of -Mark Ashton/Frontiers - get it sorted!!

18/09/03: LDP -
Rating: 5
Sorry guys, have just heard the new one (Higher), and have just come to the conclusion that in fact Harem Scarem ARE the most overrated band ever,(well apart from the rubbish in the charts). Everybody has been going on about how this album sounds just like the early stuff, No way on earth i'm afraid, this album should have been released under the rubber moniker just so it doesn't tarnish the early work. Bet album these guys did was voice of reason, this comes a lowly last with ALL the other stuff since then. oh and by the way, that is 5 out of 100.

18/09/03: Matt -
Rating: 89
For an album to reach 100% it needs to show me something new. HIGHER is about as "safe" of an album as Harem Scarem could probably make. Strange too, considering these guys have never been afraid to experiment. Actually, HIGHER sounds like the sequel to Harry Hess' solo album. Now, I liked that one too, but it is not Harem Scarem. HIGHER is very good, only about two bad songs with "give it to you" begging the question: what is the point? I like every Scarem album. I find true briliance in Big Bang Theory and Believe. But it was Weight of the World that truely made me believe these guys were nothing short of genious. HIGHER brings them back to earth. An easy, solid album, but nothing spectacular.

17/09/03: Josep Maria Flores -
Rating: 95
This is a great album. It's like going back to the first, but keeping this modern touch that HS are never going to loose.
It could be better with more riffs and two o tree more songs? Sure! But then we will go to 150% :-)

Never let the rock stop, HS!

17/09/03: Andy Casale -
Rating: 80
100 %? NO WAY! Higher is definetly better than Wieght Of The World. But it's not better than Mood Swings or the debut CD. Even Voice of Reason has some better moments than Higher does. Kansas "Leftoverture", The Who's "Who's Next", Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon", Yes "Close To The Edge", Giant "Last of the Runaways", and Kevin Gilbert's "THUD" are all in the 100 % category. I completely agree with Marco (above) that the first Bad English CD even qualifies as 100%. Higher doesn't come close. It's worth buying and it's a great listen but not 100 %! NO WAY!!!

17/09/03: david from France -
Rating: 99
It is huge!! this album is a real bomb right in your face. When you listen it the first time it sounds really great, but after it is more than that. The tracks "waited" is a real anthem , definitely the song of the year. Great melodies, great chorus, great guitar riff, what do we need more!

16/09/03: frytz -
Rating: 99
Well, been turned on to Harem Scarem through "weight of the world" I think this is not a good as it's predecessor. I expected a more melodic feel as Andrew already stated that the direction is going into an "end of time"-feel and I wasn't disappointed. Overall the tracks are really strong. I think choosing "reach" as an opener is false. Still it's a great track, but "weight of the world" as an opener was minblowing and "reach just isn't. Still it's a strong track! I think they could allow themselves a bit longer songs with a bit more complex arrangements! The strongly featured acoustic guitars are very well in place! I gotta say that Pete's really one of my favourite players right now, especially in the melodic field! So, I hope there'll be a tour with this one in Europe!! I hope this CD get's the commercial success it deserves.

16/09/03: Ben Webster -
Rating: 97
F&%$ING BRILLIANT!!!!This is an absolute freak..It's obvious when listening to it that the boys maximised every chorus on the record..They have definitely created their best album since the mighty Mood Swings and may have surpassed it in some aspects. Massive hooks and harmonies,solos and riffs out the ass..This band stand head and shoulders above the rest..Well done guys!!

16/09/03: Isaac -
Rating: 80
Overall, I slightly prefer the modern and edgier sound of WOTW, but "Waited"...oh my god...I can barely handle it...I think I'm losing it...God, this was meant to be the soundtrack to the great strip club in the sky. Really, I think this is THE AOR ballad.

13/09/03: Steve -
Rating: 99
This is one kick ass record! How is it possible that these guys are not huge? Not a single weak tune in the bunch. Even the one "Nu Breed" rocker on the album, "Give It To You" is strong....check out Pete in the! There are 6 or 7 potential hits on this album. The production is absolutely first rate, the vocal harmonies are everywhere, and writing is perfect! Harry makes an effort to change up his vocal style and stretch things to new territory. Best of all, alot of the edge that has been somewhat missing, is back with a vengence! Stepping back, this album is the album that feels like it would have been the natural fit after Mood Swings. I know one thing for sure, it marks the return of Harem Scarem! By the way, once again, the Japanese version of this is worth it if only for "Wishing". This is unlike anything HS has ever done. Leaves you wanting more.

10/09/03: Mick Powell -
Rating: 98
FINALLY! Harem Scarem has finally put it all together! This is the one they have had in them for a while, and it's finally here! First off, this is NOT like the debut at all, this is a mature, well written, BALANCED album. This puts all the elements that are best about Harem Scarem together in a cohesive package that is simply brilliant! The writing on this effort is so damn strong from start to finish! The performances are inspired, the vocal harmonies and production are absolutely first rate, and best of all, Pete has rediscoverd the guitar! His tone on the guitar solos is very similar to Mood Swings, though not quite as up front in the mix. In my mind, what made HS my favorite band was Harry's voice, the songwriting, production AND Pete's strong guitar work. He had gotten away from that after Believe, and this album seems to bring it back somewhat.
I give this album a solid 98...which would have been 100 had it had more of the feel of Voice of Reason, which to me is the ultimate package, but hey... 98 is pretty close!
I hope this album puts the last shovel of dirt on the "Rubber" days. This is the perfect progression from WOTW....I already can't wait for the next one! Outstanding!

07/09/03: Franco -
Rating: 99
I'll go to the point, my favorite album has always been and going to be always the DEBUT!

now with that out of the way, HIGHER is the 2nd best Album for me and no one, for no matter what they say, gonna change that...
i am sorry for what i am gonna say now ,but for me MOOD SWINGS has always been the worst album they made ,believe it or not ,that's what it is for me.

People that like MS, likes also WOTW cause they like hard rockers, and aren't much in the emotional part of the songs that makes you wanna touch the stars with a finger, they want just to rock.

now, my personal favorite is the song "LIES"!

why am i giving this 99 score , after all of this?

because of 1 OUT OF TUNE "albeit small" part in the song REACH
in MIN 1:50 when he says ..CAUSE I HAAAAAVE, he goes out of tune slightly, something i have never ever found in any of the albums they made.

To finish: HIGHER album = Every song is tremendous, and this album is really a must buy.

album of the year, no question asked.


06/09/03: Mark W -
Rating: 100
This is an immense CD. Awesome Vocal harmonies & brilliant guitars from the one of best on the planet. I would say this is just slightly better than Weight of the World but not by much. The 2nd track Waited is the best Harem Scarem track since Die off Hard.Let hope they tour again and hopefully Headline the Gods next year - like they should have done in 2002.

03/09/03: marco -
Rating: 80
Please Andrew,be serious. This is absolutely not an 100% album,
like WOTW wasn't. The song are too short, the chorus are good but not so impressive,Harry's singin'is not very inspired.
I guess that nobody in ten years from now will sing those songs li ke i Do now with Honestly or anything in Mood Swing.
These two albums are really overrated.
If you give 100% to HIgher, what you must give to the first of Bad English for Example, 150%, 200% ?
Harem Scaren did their best so much long ago, that's the truth.

02/09/03: Paul -
Rating: 100
This band is everything Def Leppard should be in 2003 ie: masters of their craft. Higher is flawless melodic hard rock, 10 songs of utter perfection. So good I wanna cry....I thought Weight of the World was brilliant well this one is even better, question is can they improve on Higher when the time comes for a follow up.

We are the lucky ones for being blessed to hear this disc, thank you Harem Scarem.

01/09/03: Marc Vanway -
Rating: 80
This is a good cd, but a step back to Harem Scarem. I was expecting lots after Weight of the world, but this is not as good as their last one. Instead of doing a step further begining where Wotw ended, this cd should be just before wotw. A good cd, but not that brilliant and amazing album that lots of you seems to hear.

01/09/03: kevin - k&
Rating: 80
this is a very good album, not as good as weight of the world. weight of the world got me turned back on to harem scarem(rubber)in canada, but they could have done a better mix of the music. don't get me wrong i still like this album, but it is a long way from being the perfect album from them. short playing time or not it is still an album to buy.

31/08/03: Notch Johnson, ESQ -
Rating: 99
Saying this is the best Harem album is really saying something, as the band has recorded classic after classic. Andrew is right on the money with this one.

But, cliched generic pap like Ramos better than Harem? Thanks for giving me the best laugh I've had in years!

30/08/03: Antonio V. -
Rating: 100
Ten great songs,a mix of modern sound with many AOR elements (harmony vocals,great lead guitar work,good production),perfect songwritting,plenty of huge choruses and magical melodies.An album like this can't be lower than 100 rating

30/08/03: Doug L -
Rating: 100
After listening to this CD I can't understand why a band with this much potential just doesn't get recognized on a larger scale in the music world. I guess they will remain melodic rock's own secret which suits me just fine. This album has to be there best work to date blending the old with the new from their excellent debut to WOTW! I would strongly recommend this album to melodoc rock fans everywhere, you will not be disappointed. Harry Hess, Pete Lesperance (and co) have once again managed to pull of another classic from start to finish with every song holding it's own. Lets not forget that these guys are the hardest working individuals in the music business cranking out album after album quicker than any other band that comes to mind with consistent quality again and again.Thank you guys for giving us the music!!!!!!!!!!!!

p.s. I have downloaded this CD like so many others but you can bet I'll be ordering my copy and offering my support to Harem so they can continue to make the music we all love and enjoy. Keep on rockin !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

30/08/03: wiljan -
Rating: 80
This is a very good album but is it better than the debut?? no!!!.
Original no but very very enjoyable really great vocals and guitars especialy WAITED is very very good and is their best song to date!!!!!
The rest is good but also as marco said, the playing time s.u.c.k.s.!!!! just like wotw

30/08/03: jonny rod -
Rating: 100

30/08/03: Jere -
Rating: 100
Harry Hess and the guys do it again with Higher. Every track on this album is simply amazing. This album could be the very best release of 2003.

1. Reach - The album starts off with this very guitar driven track. Hess is right on with his vocals and Pete Lesperance backs him up with some very addictive guitar riffs. This is not a tune that gets stuck in your head right away, but the song does grow on you with powerful lyrics and good harmonies.
2. Waited - Simply put this song rocks! It starts out with a great acoustic intro by Lesperance and Harry's vocals shine on this track. Waited could be very well a single and used in a movie as it has enough hooks to keep you coming back for more.
3. Torn Right Out - The album mellows out a bit with this pop influenced track. Torn Right Out didn't really do anything for me as it has good lyrics and a catchy sound to it but to me its just another pop influenced Harem Scarem track that they already have many of in their song library.
4. Give It To You - This fast tempo song is a catchy little number with Harry singing a bit faster then usual and at times he plain out yells out the main verse of the song. Give It To You lives up to its name as its very addictive to listen to and above all is just a feel good song.
5. Higher - If I had to pick a favorite song on this album this one is it. Higher is a wonderfully crafted song that has strong lyrics, great harmonies, and perfect vocals. This tune is why many consider Harem Scarem one of elite melodic rock bands in the world today.
6. Run and Hide - The album picks back up a little bit with track mixing in a bit of both mellow and heavy guitars. Harry's vocals on this track are amazing as the rest of the band is clicking as a whole, as I could see Run and Hide being another single.
7. Lucky Ones - My second favorite track on the album starts out with another acoustic intro by Lesperance but the song quickly picks up the pace into a simply great rocker. This song reminds me of the band's material from their self titled and Mood Swings albums, Lucky Ones is sheer perfection.
8. Lies - Another guitar driven rocker Lies is most likely influenced from the band's earlier days. Although the track has some great riffs and lyrics this song didn't really catch my attention like Waited, Higher or Lucky Ones.
9. Gone - An acoustic driven number this song is emotionally driven by Hess and his vocal abilities. The hooks are definitely there and the lyrics are near perfect. I wish there were a couple more songs like this on the album.
10. Lost - This is one of the best closings songs I've heard on any album with great harmonies, awesome lyrics, and a nice little solo by Pete Lesperance. This is another track that reminds me of Harem Scarem's earlier albums. Its nice to see the band get back to their roots a bit with Lost.

30/08/03: freddy de keyzer -
Rating: 60
Well, well, well, is this that good ! Don't think so ! Ramos is far better, to name one the latest releases. This is typical Harem Scarem, better than their previous ones, but far from good ! This is such an overrated band, people ! I can name thousands of acts, better than these guys ! And then, once again, the very, very short playing time. How can we give this a perfect score, if it's only 37 minutes long and we have to pay as much as for a quality CD that has a playing time of 70 minutes !
Certainly better than the previous years, but not essential at all (still too many modern influences) ! Look for the upcoming stuff like Pride Of Lions, Double Cross or buy Newman and certainly Ramos ! Much better than this one, but this is only my opinion !

30/08/03: Dan Friml -
Rating: 99
Yeah, I was absolutely blown away when I've heard this album for the first time! I expected a good album, but Higher is simply killer. As Andrew said, every song has monster chorus and hooks that tear you down on your knees! Giving 99,5%, cause 100% for me is their most underrated and IMHO their best album Voice Of Reason.
Well I don't think that the perfect HS album would have over 45 minutes :) I think the short songs and short CD playing time is the best we could deserve. Just push it to your player and it will run through your head as thunder. Wow! and when it's gone you'll need to play it again. it's better than boring and long 78 minutes :))

30/08/03: Craig Bishop -
Rating: 100
Oh my f*%#ing GOD! The japanese version arrived on my doorstep on Monday morning and I have not stopped listening to it since (it is now the early hours of Saturday morning!) Yes it is that good! I have only ever given one 100% on a review before and that was for their previous album WOTW. I rated the track OUTSIDE YOUR WINDOW from that album as song of 2002 and only hoped that their next release would go in that direction. Well, my prayers were answered! Pete trades Electric & acoustic guitars throughout the entire album. The sound is a perfect mix of the best moments from WOTW and Harry's solo album. There is not a single weak song on the album. Nor is there a good one. Every single one of them is brilliant! I won't bother doing a track by track review on this one as Andrew has it pretty much spot on. To the Japanese bonus track then.
WISHING - The slowest song on the album, very moody and over in less than 3 minutes. No guitar solo on this one, but you do get another heartfelt lyric from Harry with a chorus that sends shivers up my spine.
The production is not as punchy or in your face as WOTW, but I think it suits the songs perfectly. I only have two questions to ask the guys:
1 - The fade out on several songs seems awfully rushed, like you were in a hurry to end the song. At first it was rather distracting but now I am over it. Did anybody else notice this?
2 - 40 minutes again! C'mon guys surely you could have added a few more tracks. I know it's better to be short and chock full of killers than to be let down by the occasional filler, but going by the last two albums there is now way "filler" could even enter into the equation. Could it?


30/08/03: Bryan Toth -
Rating: 98
I definitely agree that this is a monster album. But I did like the heavier edge of WOTW a little more. But man, songs like "Torn Right Out" and "Higher" are literally perfect examples of how to write a melodic rock song. Andrew makes a good comparison putting Hess/Lesperance up there with Lennon/McCartney. They may never get the acclaim that those guys did/do, but they're certainly worthy of being mentioned in the same class of songwriters .....

29/08/03: Marco -
Rating: 98
I totally agree with Andrew. This is Harem Scarem's best album to date and a perfect mixture of all their previous works. The cream on top of the cake is the fireworks of memorable hooks and choruses!!!
The only thing I have to criticize - one more time - is the short playing time. The "perfect" Harem Scarem album would have a playing time of 45+ minutes!

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