Leo Harmonay “Somewhere Over the Hudson”
The Review: North East based singer-songwriter Leo Harmonay has one of those voices that’s familiar but yet you can’t quite put your finger on him. His latest CD, “Somewhere over the Hudson” starts off with “Colors” a carefree folk/rock opener painted with colorful vocal harmonies, earthy tones, and popish appeal. Track 2 “Dark Sunday Gray” keeps the flow going in the right direction. It also shows how well these cats can really play outside the a-typical Pop embellishment. More emotional title track really open thing up as Harmonay’s acoustic guitar-voice tandem really flourishes. Slowly but surely you are introduced to Harmonay’s inviting deep voice via more great music. CD gets better and better as it advances. This is the perfect setting for a hungry Adult Contemporary Pop audience. The earthy foundation, poppy backdrop, and touches of acoustic guitar and layered instrumentation really make an impact. The almost soulful vocal tonality of Harmonay I was actually surprised to see he was a white man. His voice/guitar coupled with a nice reverb soaked snare drum/guitar both compliment each other well. It’s a very modern sounding CD, but don’t worry – there are no Kanye West guest appearances here. On standout racks “We Are Two”, “Rocks at Your Feet” and “Running Days” you will hear flawless transitions and impressive choral finales that will bring you back into familiar pop territory. Harmonay’s voice is spot on as he demonstrates remarkable vocal control and power. He also shows great depth as a writer. Some of these songs are brilliant. As I listened to these songs over and over again, I noticed how fluid all of the arrangements really were. The whole CD moves from one moment to the next, one transition /track to the next. And despite the lack of ‘jolting moments’ to catch you off guard, all of all the tracks manage to grab your attention with their gentle, lighthearted style. There’s some nice acoustic guitar work, and vocals and rhythmic touches really mesh well together within the sonic space. Some tracks give hint to an almost Jazzy-Folk territory.
The Bottom Line: “Somewhere Over the Hudson” will work best when stripped down to just a guitar and vocals. All songs could easily be converted to this unplugged setting without even trying. This latest by Harmonay rounds out an exceptional 10 Track CD presentation delivered by a talented singer-songwriter who has definitely honed his craft over the years.