In at least one of his promo photos, Canadian singer/songwriter Carl Harvey is seen wearing a Jimi Hendrix t-shirt. Even if the Jamaica-born Torontonian didn't cover Hendrix's "Third Stone from the Sun" on his debut album, it would be clear that the late guitarist is a major influence. It's not that Harvey is attempting to be a pioneering guitar hero in the Hendrix mold -- that's a mug's game no matter who makes the attempt -- but more that Hendrix's cross-cultural aesthetic is all over The Times. These 12 songs range from Chicago-style electric blues ("The Last Time") to '70s-style soul ("I'll Be Your Friend") to skeletal Prince-ly funk ("Why You Wanna Be Like That") to the groovy neo-psychedelia of the title track to churchy Bobby Womack-style rock gospel ("Freedom Train") and beyond. The Times is a bit too wide-ranging to appeal to format-driven radio, but Harvey's talent is in the way he fuses all of these styles into a sound that he can put his own stamp on.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason