steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Rory Merritt Stitt

"harlequin" CD


Genres: jazz-pop

email the artist

Jan 12 - 18 2004

harlequin is Stitt's second album, and it delves further intp his style of piano-based "theatre-pop," perfectly displaying his immense songwriting talent.  Though despite its obvious qualities, I can't help but wonder who's going to buy this album - it's far too unhip to become popular with the young generation, and is probably too impulsive and rambunctious to catch the fancies of the adult alternative crowd.  It is a shame that an album like harlequin will be stuck without much of an audience, but that's how this unfair world works sometimes.  Who knows, maybe I'll be wrong.

Personally, I won't likely keep harlequin in my listening repertoire for very long, but I can appreciate its musical integrity and talented, jazzy songwriting.  In many ways Stitt's music resembles that of Jamiroquai, so I can see him finding a fan base similar to that of the legendary acid-jazz-funk band.  "Destiny," for example, is pure "Virtual Insanity," though without the memorable chorus.  "Unlaced," a slow, cute pop tune, is one of the disc's better moments.  Its delicate vocal and piano combination is at once eerie and luxurious - it belongs on the Moulin Rouge soundtrack.  "Renaissance Man" is another highlight, a playful, infectious slice of jazz-pop that belongs on a Broadway stage.

Though he may have painted himself into a corner as far as musical niches go, there's no doubting that Stitt is an extremely talented singer and songwriter.  harlequin is a very pleasant experience, and one that will be enjoyed by listeners free of genre hook-ups.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 13 tracks, distributed by the artist, released 2003]