Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Ed Harcourt 

From Every Sphere (Astralwerks)

Ed Harcourt is a cult favorite as enduring as The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Tom Waits. The Brit's overlooked, genre-bending debut, 2001's Here Be Monsters, drew comparisons to Waits's theatrical storytelling and the over-the-top orchestration of Rufus Wainwright, but was largely ignored by the U.S. mainstream. On Sphere, Harcourt tones down his penchant for stylistic overload -- Monsters covered jazz, Broadway, quirky power pop, and chamber music, for starters -- and in the process made a much more mature and cohesive record.

Harcourt comes out with pianos blazing on the ballad "Bittersweetheart," a gooey tune with sighing harmonies and the soft glow of 1970s pop radio, while flashes of strings and horns augment the mournful chords trudging through "Sister Renee" and "Bleed a River Deep." With bold musical sass elsewhere, Harcourt struts with a radiant confidence that separates him from countless other moody, love-obsessed saps. "Ghostwriter" pulses with creepy jags of electric guitar; the uplifting "Watching the Sun Come Up" is a vocal and musical doppelgänger of David Bowie's "Heroes." Pristinely crafted and intelligently wrought, Sphere is another offering that won't win Harcourt any spins on Top 40 radio, but for his gentle rock, in some parallel universe he deserves to be king.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Annie Zaleski

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 20, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Kristina Kuzmic @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Sun., Oct. 24
  • Shannon & the Clams @ Grog Shop

    • Sun., Oct. 24
  • Celebration Day @ Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

    • Sun., Oct. 24

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation