Review Summary: I'm...I'm not sure. Rock, country, something-something...Shaman's Harvest
is one of those bands I absolutely hate. Their radio hit "Dragonfly" showcases a modern rock hit with classic rock aesthetics and cut with just enough southern rock. It's a pretty brilliant little ditty, and without a doubt my favorite song on modern rock radio these days.
Then we get to the rest of the CD... which showcases a completely different style that is both pretty original for a mainstream-grab album and sadly underdeveloped at the same time.
Oh, and the song "Last Goodbye", which is modern shlock at its finest. It's such a forgettable tune I honestly just deleted it. It's so
The rest of Shine
showcases a love of southern rock and modern country with a thick glossy coat of modern rock sensibilities. This bothers me... because "Dragonfly", a tune I enjoy the hell out of, is radio fodder. But at the same time, the out-and-out southern-fried "Turn it Up" is a f*cking blast. It's a hell of a tune, but I'm doubtful it could find airplay on either modern rock stations or country stations. Being described as a smoother, less musically-inclined "Electric Worry" with a higher dose of country wouldn't be too much of a stretch.
Throughout the album, the only real difference between the songs is how much rock is included, and how much country is included. Songs like "Wait in the Light" and "Strike the Slate" favor the rock side. "Devils Gift" and "Say the Same" seem to favor the country side heavily. The title track "Shine", the second strongest track on the album behind "Dragonfly", seems to incorporate the two influences in a much more cohesive way than any other place here, even on the aforementioned "Dragonfly".
The songs themselves are workable here. Good performances by all musicians (the bassist has a lot of nice licks on this disc) are all in, and while the vocals are good they are also all over the damn map. I'm not sure if there's any song where this guy sounds the same, the biggest shift being the first two tracks. And while a show of vocal versatility will, I'm sure, impress some people, it's just as scattershot as everything else. In the end, it feels like a collection of songs from different artists... and that just reeks of being wet behind the ears.
Although there are three strong performances here, and a lot of future potential exists for this band if they could get their sh*t in gear, as for now the highly inconsistent everything
is a huge drawback. It's pretty good for a debut, and I'd recommend it over ninety percent of the Top 40 rock charts, but this is a young band struggling to either find an identity, or go the Nickelback
route and get songs put on as many radio stations as possible.
I'm hoping for the former.