Jeffrey Harrison,
Jeffrey Harrison
(Shattered, 2005)

Jeffrey Harrison, a former member of the Boulder, Colorado area band the Shakes, has released a self-titled, five-song, solo EP. The music by this singer-songwriter is primarily rock, but a few tracks might fall lightly into the folk-rock category.

"Reason to Live" is, perhaps, the most engaging song. It is very melancholic. The subject is about an unnamed girl who is contemplating suicide. The listener is never really told what has brought her this low. Why does she feel so alone? And in the end, does she live? With one of the stanzas as follows: "Tonight she steps to the edge / She's not afraid to die / Four stories from freedom / among the stars she'll fly / She's gonna fly tonight / She's gonna fly tonight." My guess is that she does not.

"Stranger to Myself" is a slow tempoed track that could more easily be labeled folk-rock than any of the other selections. In fact, the first 30 seconds or so is totally folksy. And then the electrical instruments join in. Still, the lyrics are telling, assuming Jeffrey is singing from personal experience. "I don't recognize who I've become / I don't understand why I've done / the things I've done to you." Further lyrics describe how the singer cheated on his girlfriend/wife/significant other and does not know why he did what he did.

Jeffrey is backed on his EP by Tracy Mullins on drums, Mike Williams on bass, Mike Dockery on drum arrangement, acid looping and bass, and James Thomas on Hammond organ and Rhodes piano. Jeffrey penned all the songs, sings and plays both guitar and keys.

Harrison's vocals are weaker than both his musicianship and songwriting skills. His singing is scratchy as he sings from his throat. Be that as it may, this is not a bad CD. But it has not found much rotation in my CD collection.

by Wil Owen
13 January 2007

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