Sometimes the most powerful emotions can’t be described in words. Ed Harcourt channels his most personal thoughts in Beyond The End, his instrumental piano record that captures some very fine and specific emotions, allowing you to really connect with him.
There’s almost nothing but a piano on this record, leaving it all to that in order to create an emotional experience through nothing but it. There’s a specific beauty and drama to opening track ‘Diving Bell‘ that really gives you a sense of what you’re in for. Beyond The End is the vessel for Harcourt’s most sincere emotions, especially tender in tracks like the romantic ‘Wolves Change Rivers‘ and gentle, innocent ‘Faded Photographs.’ In fact, some of the most specific and hardest emotions to face are included on this record: namely the endearing ‘For My Father‘ and gentle yet fragile ‘For My Mother.’
The very nature of Beyond The End lends itself to giving you a real sense of who he is. Not only is the album’s simplicity a catch, but Harcourt’s willingness to share these profound moments of music gives it a whole new sense of honesty. The heartbreak of ‘Keep Us Safe‘ and the cry of ‘Duet For Ghosts‘ come straight from his heart, and the music is a direct look into it. As Harcourt learns to face these emotions, he also comes to accept who he is; though wordless, there’s a distinct matureness that comes as the record goes. Closing track ‘Whiskey Held My Sleep To Ransom‘ is an insomnia-inducing track, yet its calming atmosphere helps it create this “fading out into limbo” sort of vibe to end off on.
Ed Harcourt channels his most personal thoughts in Beyond The End, diving deep into his heart to share some profound and intimate moments of his life. It’s an oddly adventurous and challenging album for its simplicity, offering up a surprisingly dynamic message to follow and learn to grow with. You truly get to connect with Harcourt on this record.
Favorite Track: For My Mother
Least Favorite Track: Circling Red Kites
Rating: 75 / 100
Stream or buy Beyond The End on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: