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Inside the Human Body

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Album Review

If Ezra Furman's first album was his The Times They Are A-Changin', his second is his Highway 61 Revisited. More amped up this time around and more band-oriented than before, instead of acting like an expansion to add flair to songs that Furman wrote on his acoustic, the Harpoons are an integral background component. Along with the band tightening and improving as musicians, Furman has also matured slightly. His yelp isn't quite as untamed as it was on the first go, possibly because he's gained control of pitch with practice, or perhaps because it doesn't seem as outrageous in context with the more crazed numbers. "Big Deal" starts out with an infuriated spittle-infused scream "In a trance in France I learned to dance!" before exploding into a frenetic, Frank Black meets Stiff Little Fingers punk nuke. Yes, punk. The punky aesthetic that filled the lyrics of "Banging Down the Doors" (evident by the introductory line, "This song's about a whore I knew in Chicago!") has bled into the music on a few songs here, and with the tempo raised, Furman blazes through his lines like an auctioneer, squeaking out "They put me in a cage and they put me on-stage and they told me I could never go home/The government paid for a place in the shade and then my mouth began to foam" at a mile-a-minute pace. It's a new angle showcasing the awkward adolescent turned aggressive anarchist, and the rockin' numbers rock accordingly, proving that the Boston-bred boys can branch out and competently conquer other genres when they put their minds to it, even when tackling the antithesis of folk. But Furman is always at his best when he slows down and connects on an intimate level. "Springfield, IL," "Weak Knees," "The World Is Alive," and especially the innocent Neil Young-ish chamber organ gem "If I Was a Baby" could have fit the earnestly enduring mold of his last album. A mature outing with the awkwardness subdued, all the boyish charm and lyrical finesse that made Ezra Furman & the Harpoons' freshman Minty Fresh release a success is evident, and many of these timeless tunes could be classics if they ever made their way into the mainstream.

Customer Reviews


Whereas the debut album was more "Ezra Furman featuring the Harpoons," this album is truly more "Ezra Furman and the Harpoons." You still have the brutally honest and delightfully manic songwriting of Ezra, but this time his songs seem to have been developed more fully within the context of a band, resulting in a fantastically ferocious and overall more cohesive rock album. Every song remains unique while contributing to the big picture. "Big Deal," "The Stakes Are High," and "We Should Fight" are my current favorites. Purchase and enjoy, ya filthy animals!


OMG!!!! I LOVE THIS ALBUM!!!! the first time i ever heard this band, i didnt like them...but i listened to his 1st album a few times and ended up really enjoying some of the music. over the summer i saw him preform in chicago and LOVED him!! of course, i got his new album (months before it came out) and now im so glad that you can buy it to!!! this new album is everything that the harpoons are about, plus more!! my personal favorite song, take off your sunglasses!! but its all great, really!!! if you dont like his music now, u will! TRUST ME!!!

My favorite of the year

I have heard "Take Off Your Sunglasses" on the radio and I'm a happy to say the rest of the songs are just as memorable. Ezra and Co. have fun with words while telling interesting tales that keep me intrigued. More importantly, the band ROCKS with an enthusiasm that stretches often into gleeful madness. A great release.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Ezra Furman & the Harpoons are a Chicago-based combo built around the songs of leader Furman, whose tunes combine an idiosyncratic wit and edgy, confessional lyrics with clever pop melodies. Furman was born and raised in Chicago, and began dabbling in songwriting as a teenager after he was given a guitar as a bar mitzvah present. He didn't take his talents public until early 2006, when he began attending Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts and struck up a friendship with three other guys interested...
Full Bio
Inside the Human Body, Ezra Furman and the Harpoons
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Customer Ratings