Harry Perry, aka rryrry, is an English singer/songwriter/composer living in Sweden, who makes a brand of electronic-art-rock/dance-rock/dance-folk-rock using an array of instruments and styles. To call it eclectic would be an understatement. His EP I want & the me culture boasts a theme of consumerism and individualism, which itself is marked by all things being louder, faster, and the new becoming a relic of the past faster than ever. The lack of a cohesive sound among the songs, the varied instruments and the sometimes off-key playing – while difficult to grab onto at times – all do their part to promote this theme.
The EP opens with “The Good Life.” It starts out with a slow, strumming mandolin in a deliberately unsettling tone, which is accentuated all the more once the off-key violins come in. Perry understands the dream of the good life is not well and out of sync with what is truly good. The song peaks with Perry yelling “I’ve a good life…I’ve had a good life!” as he tries to convince himself that he’s got all that he needs to be happy in this square-peg-in-a-round-hole world most of us feel we live in. Toward the end, the yelling stops and he softly murmurs it again with the violin bending upwards to show the sense of both unease and of acceptance.
On the next track “This is the Salon” Perry delves into the electronic side of things. The vocals are fast and aggressive, and play together with the synth nicely. The style changes several times, just as choppily as over-pronounced as when sings the word “salon,” and despite a less straight-forward theme it shows Perry can step into this genre of music and produce a fun, quirky track. The closing track “Knowledge, all the knowledge” might be the best and most grounded song of the EP. The deep synth intro and with lyrics like “Love irrespective of place; Dear boy, you are replaced; It happens like this; Throw away all the connectivity” that build up to a bright and shining chorus that carries you to the end.
The only issues I have are the sometimes over-the-top production and lack of cohesiveness (though I quickly admit this is tough to overcome with a self-produced and self-released five track EP). An album release with more songs and more room to explore the themes more deeply would provide a more solid feel and something more concrete for the listener to grab onto. Nonetheless, this release is certainly worthwhile. It might be an ‘acquired taste’ to the average listener who has trouble keeping up with Perry’s genre hopping, but his style nears the new-wave artists of the past like Bowie and Talking Heads but with a more aggressive and less melodic style that would do wonders with some fine-tuning. My first listen took some time to get the feel for it, but I found myself enjoying it more and more as I began to explore the themes and lyrics.
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