Kyp Harness Fugitives

Legendary Toronto songwriter Kyp Harness sends some love out to JC on Fugitives, a spirited rock record of devotional songs that finds him frantically looking to the Lord for guidance in these troubled times. Presumably referring to the threat of terrorism and the wars being waged in Afghanistan and Iraq, Harness set out to make sense of the world in song and, in so doing, found a path to God. In his liner notes, Harness suggests that it took him a while to work out these songs on both a musical and spiritual level. He concludes with definitive confidence that "Jesus is the answer to all questions, the solution to all problems and the true, bright way of freedom through this existence.” This clarity of purpose is apparent in the explicit praise found on "I’m Not Sayin’,” "All the Love” and "When the Spirit Calls Me.” In his jaunty, nasal twang, Harness humbles himself, at one point desperately pleading "Lord Help Me.” Straight from the heart, the songs are clever but hopelessly earnest; these narratives reveal subjects who give themselves over completely to a muse and, frankly, this dedication is somewhat troubling, almost unhealthy. Perhaps Harness himself was sensitive to this possibility, as the self-soothing "Calm Down” speaks to the point in precise terms. It’s only a show of temporary restraint, as "Man on the Cross” stirs Harness up all over again and he rejoices in his love for Jesus. If Harness wasn’t so clearly self-confessional here, Fugitives might be an off-putting collection of conversion hymns. As it stands, it’s a fascinating batch of songs that marks a compelling artist’s self-discovery. (Independent)