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HARLEQUIN Walking The Jester Music By Mail (2007)

Canadian rockers Harlequin return with their first new album in over twenty years! This was surprise when it arrived in the post and a welcome one at that. Back in the 80's I was always keen on reading the reviews in Kerrang! of AOR/melodic rock bands that only ever appeared in Mike Lloyds Music import section on vinyl or in Shades ads but living in Stoke on Trent at the time London was a long way away. Harlequin were one of these bands and I took a chance on the import 'One False Move' which contains many AOR gems including 'I Did It For Love'.

How this band never got a proper UK release and broke into the US market is a mystery. Luckily they are back although only vocalist George Belanger remains from the 80's days.

The overall sound is less AOR than before going in a more blues rock direction at times as can be heard on 'Hell Or High Water' and the slow burning 'This Limbo'. But long time fans fear not as 'Shine On' and 'How Long' are AORtastic gems destined for radio airplay and cranking up on your stereo.

'You Can't Go Back' is a lovely song with reflective lyrics and a hint of the Beatles in the sound at times.

If you missed out on this band first time around grab their 80's albums and this one. There is a distinct sound difference as you'd expect over such a time but the quality tunes are still here and it is an album you will keep coming back to.


Review by Jason Ritchie

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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