[Album Review] Lee Harvey Osmond- Beautiful Scars
Reader Rating: (5 Votes)

Release Date: April 7th, 2015
Label: Latent Recordings

Lee Harvey Osmond features member of Cowboy Junkies and Skydiggers, but at its core is the inimitable persona of Tom Wilson (formerly with Junkhouse). He looks like a wizened, well-traveled troubadour and has a voice that has endured several lifetimes. There’s no need to see visible scars – you know they are etched into his being.

Speaking of his vocals, there are few different versions of Tom Wilson that appear on ‘Beautiful Scars’. On songs like “Blue Moon Drive” he is a crooner, with a voice as smooth and deep as a bottomless glass of Guinness, but on other tunes, such as “Bottom of Our Love”, he comes across as a croaky country balladeer, as weather-beaten as floor mat in an ancient pick-up truck. Then again, on “Shake the Hand” he’s a raunchy southern rocker, with all the raspiness that goes along with having to get yourself heard above the din of crowded Texas bar.

That sounds like a variety of styles, and indeed there is a nice mixture of blues, country, folk, rock, what have you. And yet there is an over-arching mood – a rootsy broodiness that permeates the air, bringing the songs together with the common thread of delectable despair.

The production here is impeccable and musicianship top-notch. The bass-lines that rattles your spine, the guitar reverb that echoes in your head and sultry horns that glide on through you – these are all as irresistible as a sinful dessert. And when you add Wilson’s sonorous baritone, well then you’re talking the stuff of bluesy roots rock heaven.

Wilson sings of broken dreams, regret and lost loves in a place that has no set location in time. It is a world beneath this one or separate from it, like a Twilight Zone episode or a David Lynch movie. It is a place where we can all show our scars. It’s beautiful.