Silky smooth and exquisitely produced by Fred Mollin, blues-soul singer/songwriter Jo Harman has delivered with just her second solo album People We Become, a tour de force that sets her creative bar – and that of her peers –unbelievably high for future projects.
From the scratchy radio-intoned introduction of No One To Blame, to the dying, heart-cinching, gospel embers of Lonely Like Me, People We Become is a triumph of originality; as rhythmic and harmonious and out-and-out glorious as anyone dare wish for.
There are moments, such as during Lend Me Your Love – arguably the strongest track of the collection – when the world appears to cease turning. Its richness and energy becoming tangible, whilst the power of the musicianship of Greg Morrow on drums, Gordon Mate’s keys, Pat Buchanan’s electric guitar brilliance and Larry Paxton’s bass underscore the sum of the whole magnificently. Oh, then beneath all of this, safely anchoring the whole ship, are the horns of Jim Hoke and Steve Herman.
There are moments when memories of Elkie Brooks in her pomp spring to mind. Jo Harman’s grasp of that which works and her capability to deliver the goods – such as during the delicious Silhouettes Of You or the out-and-out anthem that is The Reformation – is so refreshingly inviting, it is as if she’s popped into your living for a gig.
Then there is the catchy delicacy and craft of Changing of the Guard, which gets the heart beating just that little bit more, only to be initially slowed then raised again through the likes of Unchanged and Alone. And not to mention the contribution made by Michael McDonald to the uber-Soul fest that is When We Were Young – its brass, keys and bass sections whipping the track into a frenzy of super souped up energy – would just be wrong on so many levels.
The way in which each track springs a surprise is a joy to behold, with Harman’s searing, crystalline vocals a beacon in the darkness that glitters and sparkles like frost upon a darkened pavement.
Jo Harman’s People We Become is an absolute feast and an album that should be placed front and centre of any playlist.
People We Become
Label: Total Creative Freed
3rd February, 2017
- No One Left To Blame
- Silhouettes Of You
- Lend Me Your Love
- Unchanged And Alone
- The Reformation
- Changing Of The Guard
- Person Of Interest
- When We Were Young
- The Final Page
- Lonely Like Me