Review of Jack Savoretti's album Harder Than Easy released through De Angelis Records.
LA singer/songwriter Jack Savoretti has all the hallmarks of a troubled troubadour; the ½ English- ½ Italian brooding looks and the rugged husky vocals. Harder Than Easy is his second solo album, mixed by Joseph Puig (Snow Patrol, John Mayer) it is an acoustic record full of intense, introspective and melancholy ballads, as you might expect.
The record starts off well with Map Of The World, an upbeat bluesy piano based track with lots of acoustic guitar, but then the tempo drops and the lyrics on the rest of the album reflect it. There are some great blues arrangements as on Lost America and the album has a definite soul feel to it. Russian Roulette is a good example of Savoretti's style; tortured vocals singing 'How I survived the massacre, I'll never understand' accompanied only by gentle strumming and picking. The intensely deep, melancholic lyrics continue on Breaking News 'This is the end of the world like never before.it's breaking our hearts/taking our souls' and don't let up throughout the entire album. By the time you reach the closing track, Patriot, its up-tempo swinging melody provides much needed relief.
Savoretti's strong, gravelly vocals suit the style of the album well and some of the more bluesy arrangements, along with the smooth production of the record are definite high points. But unfortunately it has nothing to set it apart from the any of the other middle of the road singer/songwriters, nothing to really draw in the punter. Harder Than Easy is perfectly listenable, but it is just that and not much more.