The British equivalent of Harry Nilsson, Ed Harcourt has always been open to channelling his private circumstances into his work, so it's not unexpected that fatherhood should have lightened the mood of his fifth album, Lustre.
Parental worries are at the heart of "Fears of a Father", which has the swaying lilt of a French chanson, while the excitement of embarking on a new voyage of discovery drives both "A Secret Society" and "When the Lost Don't Want to Be Found". Elsewhere, the catchy "Church of No Religion" and "Do As I Say Not As I Do" offer sweetly sour critiques of the pious and the political, respectively. But the album's underlying tone is best summed up in the cheery, Mellotron-swathed stomp "Haywired": "It's not easy to be happy, get away with it".
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