Album Review: Curtis Harding - "Face Your Fear"
By Ian Bremner / Old Rookie
There are famous adages about being the product of the company you keep. In the case of Curtis Harding, his ever-changing musical environment makes him almost impossible to nail down. He’s old school, but modern-fresh. He’s Motown, but garage rock. He’s soul, but psychedelic.
Curtis Harding has sung backup for Cee-Lo Green, opened for Jack White and played in a punk band with The Black Lips’ Cole Alexander. His solo material is a beautiful blend of all it it. 2014’s Soul Power was a soul-inflicted garage rock record gleaming with the grit of his home base of Atlanta.
Like Soul Power, Harding’s new record, Face Your Fear, features him shirtless against a mostly black and white background, but this time the title outlined in pink. Perhaps that bit of bright color signifies the brighter shine of the new record, which was recorded in New York at the studio of legendary producer Danger Mouse.
From the very get-go of Face Your Fear, you can tell you are into something a bit more slicked up, a bit more layered than its predecessor. The lead track, "Wednesday Morning Atonement" features strings and underlying synths warning you Harding is clearly on to something new. Though there are fresh sweeps of modern studio help, Harding only adds his vintage rock 'n' roll cred. The album flows wonderfully, bouncing across all genres and all decades.
Whether it’s the Motown pop of "Till The End" and "Need Your Love" or the chilled-out California soul of "Welcome To My World" and "Ghost Of You," Harding is in his zone. He is in his element at all times.
Face Your Fear could fit into any generation, but it could be argued that these modern times need it most. We could all take a cue from Harding and face our fears. It seems to have worked for him.