HRVRD
The Inevitable And I


5.0
classic

Review

by UnnamedOcean USER (19 Reviews)
November 6th, 2011 | 112 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Completely worthy of the illustrious name, Harvard's The Inevitable and I rewards from beginning until commencement.

Jesse Clasen may be one of the most talented young singers on the scene today. His youthful and occasionally feminine-like vocal characteristics can be most apparently seen in his solo project The Bear Romantic. A mostly acoustic venture, his solo work displays a satisfying degree of maturity, musicianship, and accessibility. It is this ability to take intelligent pieces of music and insert memorable hooks which makes him the perfect choice as frontman for Harvard.

Harvard is by no stretch of the imagination a trendsetting band. It works out that some are leaders and other followers in music. Although Harvard fits into the latter category, it is their ability to draw upon influences, repackage those elements and cater them directly to the audience that sets them apart. Their music borrows the foundations from genres such as indie, post-hardcore, and even shoegaze, channeling and condensing them into a consistent sound throughout the whole of The Inevitable and I. Sure, the similarities to Circa Survive are obvious, between dueling guitars bathed in screaming effects and a high-pitched vocalist carrying the band on his shoulders. Still, Harvard is not a carbon-copy of the contemporaries which influence them. What truly drives Harvard’s music is the direction. Though their songs may draw on shoegaze and progressive elements, forerunning the affair is a pop-sensibility which gives the music a personality and reason to be heard. In all respects, Harvard is an interactive band that cares about their audience. It is easy to tell during their live shows that the band is very passionate about what they do.

If there is one thing Harvard does best on The Inevitable and I it is memorable climaxes. These parts are compounded by Jesse’s lyrical work, and would in fact be meaningless without it. Hand to Hesitate features a particularly emotional coda, with Jesse crooning “I miss the way you hesitate, I miss the way you elevate” over the backdrop of a vicious rhythm section. Moments like this occur numerous times throughout the album, but rather than becoming a cliché, they operate more like a motif which is continually revised and revisited. Between all of these instances, Jesse’s lyrical work ties everything together beautifully. Following suit with the music, his lyrics fluctuate between the obscure and accessible hooks. As with his solo work, he manages to present a mature, thoughtful, and yet still catchy vocal style. By far the most relatable moments on the album occur during softer pieces, where the real emotional side of Harvard is allowed to show. It is during these segments where the band is at their greatest appeal, perhaps even sounding a bit on the “cute” side.

The Inevitable and I itself is undoubtedly a well-paced album, if not a bit on the long side. There is a definite variance in styles, but everything is still kept concise enough to avoid any red herrings. A few songs do present themselves as a bit weaker in composition, and perhaps they could have been omitted in respect of time, but they are not enough to negatively impact the album. What is striking here is how many of the album’s songs manage to impress, and how consistent the overall tracklisting is. Songs like French Girls fluctuate between groovy verses and pounding choruses, while others like Ghost (perhaps the strongest song on The Inevitable and I) continually drive forward, passing through scores of enjoyable riffs and melodies. The lack of filler here is impressive, especially given the length of fourteen tracks.

Strangely enough, Harvard is not a band I expected to enjoy so greatly. After running across a few songs one day, I decided to purchase this album on a whim. There was something about the band’s direction that grew on me greatly in the first few weeks. Before long I couldn’t stop listening to this album. Quite notable is the instrumental talent; particularly the guitar work done here, which is both flowing and elegant, occasionally screaming out with furious bouts of energy. All of this is tied together by the overlooked drummer, whose intricate and tasteful style subtly adds an additional layer of complexity to the music. Still, most important to the mix is the frontman, Jesse Clasen. His lyrical work, passionate vocals, and ability to make this kind of music accessible to the fans are the factors which make The Inevitable and I worth listening to. Though certainly not a perfect debut by any means, the pure youthful exuberance found on this album manages to render any negatives as superfluous. As respectable as the institution they take their name from, Harvard continually reward on their debut album.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
UnnamedOcean
November 6th 2011


3989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Finally had to review this since it has become one of my favorite albums over the past few months. Tell me if you spot any mistakes in the review.

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2011


55360 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I've had this in my itunes for like a year

Gonna listen today

Digging: Julien Baker - Turn Out The Lights

Tikicobra
November 6th 2011


574 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's such an amazing album. I'm so glad you posted this review or I wouldn't have known about it.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2011


7503 Comments


Two comments:

a.) Use italics for album titles. [i ] insert phrase here [/i ] but without the spaces. It makes the review easier and more pleasant to read/follow.

b.) The abrupt and sudden usage of a personal pronoun towards the end of the review is really jarring. Try to avoid such instances - unless you really know what you're doing. Aside from these two niggles, the review is decent.

Hope this helps; cheers!

crazyblinddude
November 6th 2011


3390 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool album, man. Nice review too. I pos'd!

dawija3
November 6th 2011


213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

definitely not a 5, but i too discovered them recently and theyve got potential

UnnamedOcean
November 7th 2011


3989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the advice, Irving ;) I would have done italics but I can never remember HTML. Haha. And

yeah I usually don't include first person pronouns, but I felt my last reviews were way too formal and

so I figured what the hell.

Glad I could inform you of it, Tikicobra (:

UnnamedOcean
November 7th 2011


3989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'll add the italics now. Not sure why I never bothered to deal with them in the past.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 7th 2011


7503 Comments


Haha, dude, I forgot to mention that coding for italics cannot be done in the album summary - it just doesn't work XD

(sorry!)

chaseee
November 7th 2011


223 Comments


album is boring

UnnamedOcean
November 7th 2011


3989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fix'd :P I should have caught that one. Haha.



And yeah thanks chasee.

Oblivioncry
November 8th 2011


602 Comments


great review. the singer sounds very much like anthony green. lovin the album so far.

artificialbox
November 8th 2011


628 Comments


I am absolutely in love with this album, it's solid all the way through and every song is just as good
as the last. I'm so excited for their upcoming LP.

Good review!

UnnamedOcean
November 8th 2011


3989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks, man! Yeah, he does sound a little like Anthony Green, but Jesse definitely has a lower vocal range, and his style is more "indie" I guess you could say.

UnnamedOcean
November 17th 2011


3989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

O-hey ghost neg.

dcha
August 2nd 2012


990 Comments


Just booked these guys for a house show in September. Nice.

UnnamedOcean
August 4th 2012


3989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I wish these guys would play at my house, but I don't think they would want to come all the way out to the northwest for like 5 fans.

UnnamedOcean
November 2nd 2012


3989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So, new album soon, yeah?

Pndi
November 13th 2012


464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah cardboard houses ruled, i haven't heard the other new song yet

UnnamedOcean
November 13th 2012


3989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was really impressed by that song.



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