Sound: Her name might seem familiar to you -- Lauren Harris. Harris... ah yeah -- Steve Harris! Please meet, the new rock project headed by the daughter of a rock legend -- the founder of Iron Maiden. With the first chords of Lauren Harris' debut album Calm Before the Storm you think -- this is it! Finally, classic rock with great female vocals! But this euphoria doesn't last long -- after the opening track Steal Your Fire you realize there's something wrong...
The second track, major and upbeat Your Turn, gives you a better idea of what's going on. Most of the songs could make a happy soundtrack to a teenage comedy -- take for example Get Over It or Hit Or Miss. Get Over It even reminds Avril Lavigne - sometimes it seems Harris is copying her voice. Not that it's the worst comparison in the world, but you would expect something more original from the daughter of a rock legend. From The Bottom To The Top is one of the few good tracks on the album. It is melodic and very emotional with beautiful wide choruses.
Lauren is backed by some really good and professional musicians. Everything is played top notch and almost every song features a stellar guitar solo from Richie Faulkner. The tracks are catchy and radio-friendly -- for sure the people who wrote them knew what they were doing! Even though all the songs are pretty well-written, there's no really strong hit and the album doesn't make a great impression. All tracks sound a bit the same as they follow a similar structure. // 7
Lyrics: The poetry is so plain and embarrassing that it gets ridiculous at times, especially the serious attitude she's singing something like You said you like me but when you met her / She's was perfectly sweet and you liked her better with. Or She's either hit or miss, but she's got it right / Protected by her innocence she's out of sight. Very weak lyrics. Lauren's got the real rock voice -- something reminiscent of Joan Jett. It is deep, low and strong -- a perfect fit for this type of music. In spite of the simple song structures she managed to show the potential of her voice. Tracks like From The Bottom To The Top showcase the wide diapason that she's capable to sing. // 8
Overall Impression: Following the traditions of her dad, Lauren is probably the last person on earth wearing black leather pants. Just as these pants, her music is a bit stale - it's that good ol' pop-rock that was so popular in late '90s. Though for the opening act of Iron Maiden, which she's currently busy with, her music is quite good. Parents' support is a very important thing! The album is very well-written and produced; all the songs are composed following the rules of how to write a hit. It's all so clear and nice that you want Lauren to do at least something wrong. The commercial part of the project is a bit bigger than you would want it to be. The songs are balancing between pop and rock and too often lean to pop side. Such a waste for such a good voice! Diagnosis: good performance, bad songs. // 7
- Kosh (c) 2008