Ed Harcourt - "Here Be Monsters" Album Review

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3. Ed Harcourt Here Be Monsters (Album; - Heavenly)
Ed Harcourt was no doubt one of the few unanimous Mercury Music Prize Nominees this year. He is also currently the critics number one choice to be on stage collecting the prize at the end of the night. These are two surprising facts considering his singing and songwriting methods are relatively conformist and the Mercury Prize panellists traditionally tend towards the unconventional.
Here Be Monsters is a complicated collection of pop odes, pale piano idylls and accessibly muted serenades, complete with the odd twisted Radiohead style entre.
The mans talents lie in his lyricism, his arrangements and his ability to play an arms length of instruments as well to enlist a giant arms length of contributory musicians. Moments of classical instrumentation are superb as are stand out instances such as the juxtaposed serene/haywire jumbling of Beneath The Heart Of Darkness, the illuminating God Protect Your Soul and the gentle double bass keyboard crossover of Those Crimson Tears.
However, despite all those good points its all just a touch too predictable, coffee table listening for the unadventurous music fan.