REVIEW - Blake Havard – Blake Havard
February 14, 2013 – The dripping residue from breaking hearts has caused many guitars to twang for hundreds of years. As we know that despair and angst has not always proved fruitful for many. For most of us writing a tune, with a nail through ones heart, usually results in spewing venom, that first letter a psychologist tells you never to send, it's either too loud or too stupid . Blake Havard has either learned to breathe between the mortar attacks or he sees the lessons in every punch.
Being a lover of early Rock n Roll this Vancouver singer songwriter knows that keeping it simple is only half the battle. Like the Beatles and Stones Havard tries to juggle a clear message, a melody that sticks and an infectious fever that might just make you shake a little. "A lot of what I do is about relationships and loneliness,” says Havard, “just about being on your own on this planet and having rock 'n' roll to scream about it. Sometimes I get really scared that I'm going to block it off and not be able to say anything. But that's why I have rock 'n' roll, it's the only thing I have to get loose."
This self titled “Best of' is a great introduction to an artist that marries Rock and Country. Imagine Steve Earl singing Tom Petty tunes while being backed up by the early Eagles – remember when they had balls.
Havard starts the compilation a bit country on ‘Wanted to Believe You’ and in that fashion looks back at a relationship and its broken promises as if they were written in stone. The moral in broken love, in the end at least, should be"‘They meant it when they said it” but Harvard isn’t there yet. He sings “When you said that you loved me, I wanted to believe you” in the beginning of the tune and near it’s end “When you said that you wished you’d never met me, I almost believed you.”
‘No Mistaking It’ has one of those nice fat chorus’ – catchy and loaded with layered rich vocals. Written and produced by Havard it's a great song about how hard it is to write a great song. How a burnt out rocker searches for his next girl, who may or may not be his muse.
‘Better Luck’ describes frustrating tail-chasing, in a relationship that perpetually leads to that kick-in-the-teeth. A relationship devoid of Kodak moments, and perhaps, it's only purpose is to sing it in the ones rear-view mirror.
There's a real Eagles-esque feel to 'Wave Goodbye' and like the main theme of this compilation Havard's last line is “It's ok to have a broken heart.”
'All the Right Places,' written by his brother Brent, is a quintessential toe-tapping Pop/Rock about how a woman's body can, not only, make all the pain go away, but, make you, hypnotically forget you ever had any. It’s damn catchy stuff with Havard grooving, the old fashioned way, about how her parts fit together so well.
Though much of this CD has that honest twangy Tom Petty signature sound ‘Bullet Boy,’ especially fits in that pocket. The way Havard almost shouts the chorus, something that's usually hard to pull off, seems appropriate for a story about a fearless soul with more guts and blind faith than common sense. In war 'Bullet Boy' is loyal, it seems, to a fault.
Havard easily reminds us throughout the album that blood and guts via heartache will never get in the way of a great 'take no prisoners' driving tune. This is one to tell your friends about. - by John Beaudin
Find Blake Havard here