The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Melanie Haupt, February 15, 2008, Music

The Heavy Circles

(Dynamite Child)

Songwriter and composer Harper Simon, son of Paul, and stepmom Edie Brickell (only six years his senior) collaborate on a project that's both ambitious and listenable. While it's tempting to screech, "Nepotism!" it would be neither accurate nor fair to do so; this is totally Simon's ball game. Simon's first smart move is taking Brickell's voice out of the hippy-dippy context with which we're all familiar and building complex instrumental tracks of various stylistic stripes that feature a distinguished cast of supporting musicians, including Sean Lennon. Brickell glides from dark and menacing ("Henri") to jaunty ("Better") and wistful ("Confused") with ease. Simon also triumphs musically, embracing diversity: "Dynamite Child" convulses with punk energy, followed by the glimmering "Oh Darling," which wraps with a swelling guitar bedazzled with electronics. The Heavy Circles heralds the entry of a fine young artist with an impeccable pedigree.


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