Al­lan Ray­man

Exclaim! - - REVIEWS - RYAN B. PATRICK

Harry Hard-On

After a fleet­ing flir­ta­tion with be­ing up for in­ter­act­ing with me­dia, Al­lan Ray­man has ap­par­ently gone back un­der­ground, back to be­ing more and more mys­te­ri­ous. The Toronto singer-song­writer and mu­si­cian sim­ply has no time for ex­plain­ing his mu­si­cal mo­tives at the mo­ment — yet third al­bum, Harry Hard-On, adds more lay­ers of in­trigue. Build­ing off of his Court­ney EP and the 2017 full-length Roadhouse 01, this nine-track out­ing ( pro­duced by An­drew

Daw­son) leans in harder on rock el­e­ments while re­tain­ing R&B and blues un­der­tones.

Ray­man lives for the dark, ex­plo­rative space be­tween love, lust and the im­agery this evokes. “Might Get Strange” main­tains a smoky, or­gan­driven vibe; “Rose” delves into the seedy side of tour­ing and star­dom; “Crush” goes for a melan­cholic grunge feel; “Never Any No Good” rev­els in ’80s rock licks and “Amy” flick­ers with an omi­nous en­ergy and al­lure. Ray­man’s vo­cal abil­ity con­tin­ues to stand out, a grav­elly, con­trolled tone that in­tu­itively knows when to wild out and when to rein it in. Harry Hard-On rocks from its pul­pit, con­nect­ing with its con­gre­ga­tion and po­ten­tially adding new fol­low­ers in the process, me­dia ob­servers be damned. (Uni­ver­sal)

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