Kim & Reggie Harris

Simplicity

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Kim & Reggie Harris don't mind wearing their political views on their sleeves. This, however, doesn't mean that Simplicity hits the listener over the head with left-wing positions. Instead, songs like "Big Big World" broadly condemn the small minds of the wealthy few who lay on the beach in Belize while so many go without. The duo cleverly points out that no one really knows what a politician means by "new world order." "Hold On" implores the battered and berated to never give up, while the instrumental "Song of Peace" floats like a prayer sent up for the unity of all nations. Other traditional songs also read like prayers to a higher power. There's a distinctive version of "This Little Light of Mine," complete with lovely harmony, and "Roll Jordan, Roll," beautifully sung by Kim Harris. The events of September 11 are also present on Simplicity, most obviously on "Short Shift at Ground Zero," a song that provides a three-dimensional view of a national tragedy. Kim & Reggie Harris also don't mind borrowing material from others. Certain choices, like Pete Seeger's "Rainbow Race," seem obvious, while others, like Sting's "We Work the Black Seam," are less so. Acoustic guitars, bass, and mild percussion provide atmospheric arrangements for the material and an appropriate underpinning for the vocals. While Simplicity's willingness to delve into political and social themes is quite rare among post-revival folksingers, it is a welcome change of pace from the usual singer/songwriter fare. Kim & Reggie Harris have recorded a heartfelt album, delivered with sincerity.

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