"some music was meant to stay underground..."

70000 Tons of Metal - The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise

Lauren Harris - "Calm Before The Storm" (CD)

Lauren Harris - "Calm Before The Storm" CD cover image

"Calm Before The Storm" track listing:

1. Steal Your Fire (4:31)
2. Your Turn (3:41)
3. Get Over It (3:49)
4. Like It Or Not (3:28)
5. From The Bottom To The Top (3:41)
6. Let Us Be (3:53)
7. Hurry Up (4:18)
8. Come On Over (4:09)
9. Hit Or Miss (3:54)
10. See Through (3:43)
11. You Say (4:30)
12. Natural Thing (3:23)

Reviewed by on February 12, 2009

"Harris’ album is a good choice to pop in the cd player on your next all-girl road trip. "

Being the daughter of Iron Maiden founder and bassist Steve Harris is virtually a free ticket to musical success. But Lauren Harris didn’t rely on her father’s name when she launched her music career, and in fact when producer Russ Ballard approached her, he was completely unaware of her musical pedigree. Breaking away from her father’s metal format, Lauren has established her own musical style and sound, which comes off as Jewel meets ZZ Top, and sits solidly in the middle of mainstream rock music.

Lauren’s vocals are clear and classic, and the only fault to be found with them is that at times they lack passion. “Like It Or Not” is a passionate song lyrically, but Harris seems to place more emphasis on harmonizing rather than eliciting the emotions of the song.

Still, her music is very palatable, easy to listen to, and many of the songs skate the line between southern rock and new country. “Hurry Up,” in particular, is a song you’d expect to hear at closing time in a pool hall. “Hit Or Miss” is another tune that could fall in either category, with its country dance tempo and southern rock guitar.

Instrumentals provide the edge in Harris’ songs, particularly in “See Through” and “Come On Over,” a Stray’s cover. Both songs feature chugging guitar and a double bass drum, and pretty good southern rock guitar solos. Harris also performs a cover of “Steal Your Fire,” by the moderately popular 1980’s Scottish hard rock band Gun.

One thing Harris excels at is the girl band sound. From “Your Turn,” which has a melody similar to the 1960’s “My Boyfriend’s Back,” to the upbeat Go-Go’s sounding “Get Over It,” Harris’ music is appealing to the girl power group. She even displays a few Gretchen Wilson moments, in “You Say,” and “Let Us Be.”

Instrumental highlights are found in “Natural Thing” and “From The Bottom To The Top,” both of which feature some fancy finger work on southern styled guitar shreds. For once, Harris also allows some emotion into her voice in “From The Bottom To The Top,” which makes this track shine above the others.

For the Iron Maiden fan seeking a reincarnation, Lauren Harris will be a big disappointment. However, for those either unimpressed or unaware of the fact that Lauren’s father is the founder of one of metal’s most admired bands, Harris’ album is a good choice to pop in the cd player on your next all-girl road trip.

Highs: Top inspired bass and guitar give Harris’ classic vocal style a necessary edge.

Lows: Lack of emotion in vocal delivery of passionate lyrics.

Bottom line: A good purchase for those who like mainstream southern rock and country.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)