Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
First time on CD for the 1982 sophomore solo album from Dan Seals, formerly one-half of the hit-making duo England Dan And John Ford Coley and the brother of Jim Seals from Seals & Crofts. This release sees Dan sliding co... more »
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First time on CD for the 1982 sophomore solo album from Dan Seals, formerly one-half of the hit-making duo England Dan And John Ford Coley and the brother of Jim Seals from Seals & Crofts. This release sees Dan sliding comfortably into his new Country Music direction, only touched on during his original duo's heyday in the '70s. Wounded Bird. 2006
Still going strong--more great soft rock
Dave | United States | 11/04/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With this 1982 follow-up to 1980's "Stones", Dan Seals (he dropped the "England" part of his name here) turned in another really strong album. Don't be mislead by the above description indicating that "Harbinger" finds him transitioning to his more country-fied sound that brought him huge commercial success--he's still with producer Kyle Lehning & basically this is "Stones" volume 2. That's not a major problem though, because this album is often every bit as strong as its predecessor. It's also a shame that "Harbinger" was such a commercial flop because, somewhat ironically, it's clearly a better album than either "Dowdy Ferry Road" or "Some Things Don't Come Easy" by England Dan & John Ford Coley.
There's lots of high quality stuff here. The album-opener "Can't Get You Out Of My Mind" is marred a little by some annoying spoken vocals, but otherwise it's supremely ominous, with a cathartic chorus and stinging lead guitar. "In My Heart" is a wonderful, bouncy feel-good tune--it sounds a LOT like ED & JFC's "In It For Love". "Not Every Heart Succeeds" is an irresistibly catchy minor-keyed pop-rocker where Seals makes great use of his falsetto. "It Will Be Alright", though a little marred by the overdone gospel-style background vocals, is a soaring ballad; it had previously been recorded by Airplay, a group that included David Foster & Jay Graydon, though Dan's version here is clearly preferrable. "I Could Be Lovin' You Right Now" is really good, with a chorus punctuated by a nice guitar line. "It's Not Gonna Be That Easy" is a strong display of excellent melodicism and harmonies. "Up To Me" is a little sugary, but still a catchy, breezy feel-good tune. The Dan Seals-penned album-closer "Harbinger, Sage Or Fool" doesn't quite feel fully realized, and it's a bit overproduced, but it's nicely tuneful.
The two weakest tracks are the sleepy and somewhat dull ballad "I Don't Believe I'll Fall In Love Again" and the ho-hum pop-rocker "Once In A While".
You might laugh at the continuous parade of love lyrics on the album, especially with the knowledge of the disastrous losses Dan Seals suffered in an IRS battle that occurred in the time period between this album & his previous one. However, there's one track where he makes a direct nod to everything he lost, the aptly-titled "Bad News", which he co-wrote, & it's a gem; it's got a roadhouse blues flavor to it & crafty, devastating "dangerous woman" lyrics--I'm not sure how autobiographical this song really is, but the fade, where he runs off a list of the things one could lose, is a clear reference to his IRS case.
All in all, "Harbinger" is a very strong record that's essential for any fan of Dan Seals'/ ED & JFC's mid-'70s to early '80s period. Thumbs up to Wounded Bird Records for making it readily available on CD in the US.