Leo Harmonay is a singer/songwriter residing north of NYC. He sings in a mostly Jazz and Blues style band while serenading to the Hudson Valley. I was both disappointed and impressed at different points in the album. There were moments that shined and moments that made you cringe. The instrumentals throughout the album are strong and well put together but the vocals were very harsh, very raw, and very off key. I believe if he sticks with the slower, mellower jazz style vocals like “Running Days” and “This Train”, then he has some major potential. I also, believe, however, that if he chooses songs like “Rocks at Your Feet”, “Colors”, and “The Dancer”, then he would be doing himself a major disservice because you have to know when your vocals are fighting the range you are trying to sing in.
Colors My expectations were pretty high as the music began because there was upbeat guitar and a very nice intro. Then they were smashed when the vocals started. There are a multitude of things going wrong in this song. The vocals are very harsh and very raw which can really enhance a song when done well but this distracted from any good parts of the song instead of enhancing them. It’s unfortunately obvious that Leo Harmonay does not have the ability to hear how off key he is in several parts of the song.
We are Two There’s still pitch and key issues continuing throughout this song but Leo Harmonay did seem to have more control over his voice throughout this one. I believe that was due to the mellower tone that he stuck with while singing. This one was far more pleasant to listen to since there was so much less struggle with the vocals. The instrumentals kept the song going strong and had some real depth to it.
Rocks at your feet Again, a very lively and upbeat guitar intro which gives you hopes that this one will be better. And again, the disappointment sets in the moment he starts to sing. I think he has the potential to sound good because he does have a decent voice but he needs to really learn how to control it, how to listen and correct it, and how to possibly add effects to the vocals. From what I can concentrate on while trying to tune out the vocals, the guitar and drums are pretty nice.
Running Days There’s definitely something interesting and different about this song. It’s got a completely different sound and feel to it. I really like this one. His voice seems to take very well to the style he portrays in this song which has a much Jazzier feel to it. The lyrics are sassy and fun to listen to. You have to definitely like Jazz and the Blues to appreciate this artist but he took me on an unexpected journey from having no confidence at all in giving a positive review on this album to impress that the album just kept getting better and better.
This Train This Train is another song that brings on some redemption for Leo Harmonay. This song is the best so far with showcasing what his voice can do instead of what his voice can’t do. It’s a beautiful compilation and the vocals and instrumentals mesh very well. The lyrics are more meaningful in this song and it helps to hear the true emotion in his voice when you can tell he’s singing a song he likes.
Overall, Leo Harmonay has a long way to go to get to a point where his music will produce a fair amount of fans, his vocals are consistent, and he sticks with the style of songs that showcase the pleasant parts of his voice. My suggestions would be to take a small step back from the microphone so your voice does not come across so harsh, don’t try so hard to hit notes that are not comfortable in your vocal range, and get a few honest opinions from people who are not as close to the music. My overall impression is a 4 out of 10. There’s just too much wrong than right.
Reviewed by A. Lien