Blue Moon Harem
By Pat Prince
In Blue Moon Harem’s second album, “Finland,” there are tinges of post-grunge, radio-friendly rock reminiscent of bands like Matchbox Twenty and 3 Doors Down. However, the Harem sound is more in tune to acoustic rock artists like Duncan Sheik and Michael Penn, who were melodically appealing to the mainstream but intellectually challenging enough for the college crowd.
A “Finland” song like “Here I Am” has all the melancholic intensity of the late Elliott Smith, while leadoff “Stay” has enough of a one-two punch to be a radio-friendly hit. The production of the album is also quite professional-sounding for an indie release, and vocalist Jonathan Bix and guitarist Demetri J handle it with a level-headed spirit. There is still room for improvement in the consistency of their songwriting, but this New England singer-songwriter team has a damn good second coming with “Finland.”