Harrison Blythe Slays On Sophomore ‘San Ramon’

Harrison Blythe follows up his instant classic debut, ‘Fatal Highway’, with a beautifully crafted collection of tracks on sophomore album ‘San Ramon’.

When an artist produces a debut album that becomes an instant classic, the follow up album can often buckle under the weight of fan expectation. Sometimes, the blame lies at the feet of the artist. Buoyed by critical and commercial success, their ego gets the better of them, or they get lazy, or they are pressured by a commercially driven corporate record label. Whatever the reason, the effect is the same. A disappointing, directionless sophomore effort that quickly fades into obscurity and diminishes the achievements of an otherwise strong debut album.

Other times though, the fault lies with the fans. When you love and listen to an album almost non-stop for any given period of time, it becomes greater than it is. It takes on a heightened level of personal meaning for you. That’s the power of music, it transcends every day life to tap into and stir the deep well of emotions, feelings and experiences that make up our individual inner lives.

READ – Introducing Harrison Blythe

Harrison Blythe’s debut album ‘Fatal Highway’ was always going to be a tough act to follow. Thankfully, Harrison seems to be in full control of both his ego and his label, enabling him to produce an album not only on par with ‘Fatal Highway’, but in fact one that builds and extends his lyrical, vocal and musical skills.

The question for me then became a personal one – would I like the new album? ‘Fatal Highway’ was one of my favourite albums to come along in a loooong time – and I listened to it on repeat a lot. A REAL lot. I have developed my own relationship to those songs. How would his new songs be able to stand up against the connection I have with his previous work?