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Photographs CD

3.2 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 Sept. 2015)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: New West Records
  • ASIN: B0051OJHUE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,095 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

The young songwriter’s second release and debut for New West Records is an impressive and diverse concept album split between five breathtaking folk songs and five soon-to-be country standards. Listening to Photographs, one finds it difficult to pigeonhole Robert Ellis. It’s even harder to remember that he’s barely just begun.

Review

tantalizing and moody folk rock. --Daytrotter

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Angel Delta TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Feb. 2012
Format: Audio CD
Robert Ellis' sophomore album is the sum of two parts.The first is an acoustic set of four folk songs very much in the styles of John Prine, Paul Simon and Townes Van Zandt. Ellis' delicate acoustic guitar is accompanied by piano and strings as he tells of friendships and the beginnings of a relationship which is consummated in a cemetery.

Towards the end of "Westbound Train" the tempo changes and drums and pedal steel guitar propel the song into a contemporary country sound. In the best tradition of country music the second part of the album charts the dysfunctional relationship that began in the cemetery. His drinking and her cheating are the themes of the songs written by Ellis and sung with an intensity that conveys the misery of a broken relationship and a broken heart. Violins, viola and cello are added to the mix to heighten the dramatic effect and to enhance the melodies.

"What's In It For Me" and "I'll Never Give Up On You" are powerful reflections upon the devastation caused by a broken relationship and sung with a maturity that belies his age. Ellis is just 22 years old.

The title song "Photographs" is a powerful finale to the album as he pleads:

"Honey, take down the photographs
I need to know what's past is past
Darlin' tell me I'm the only one
That your two timin' days are done
That you've had your fun"

and he sounds every bit as plaintive as George Jones himself. This is a song cycle of great artistry and in American Songwriters Top 50 Albums of 2011 it was voted in at #31. As performer, producer and arranger Robert Ellis is a talent to be reckoned with.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A great, sort of, debut. Lots of terrific lyrics and playing. Maybe the two songwriting styles suit vinyl better than cd, one per side, but both work.
Westbound Train is a standout for me.
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Format: Audio CD
The blurb suggests a mix of Jackson Browne and George Jones. Well I was a big fan of early JB and still have the first 6 vinyls-absolutely nothing in common with this-the singer/songwriter half of the album is extremely weak,his voice is ok, reminiscent of James Taylor, unfortunately the writing is without without the melodic strength, consequently the songs frequently suffer from awkwardly trying to fit in mediocre lyrics into very stretched lines.
The George Jones (like)tracks are better but not by much. Again the lyrics are hardly inspiring, e.g. You better not have any fun when I'm not around........I'll poke you in the eye, stomp on your foot....ok maybe tongue in cheek but wish he'd kept it there.
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By Musicfan TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 July 2012
Format: Audio CD
Robert Ellis can write and he can sing in more than one style and this is an album I was looking forward to. The first 4 songs are in the James Taylor type sound. The start is fairly depressing. Then there is a sudden change of style to the honky tonk country which he does pretty well. However, I don't hear anything that memorable or special on this album. It is well sung and the songs are......ok. The sudden shift from the folk rock to the honky tonk just does not work for me. I like different types of music but if I want to listen to folk, that is the album I will play. If I want to lsiten to honky tonk, that is what I will play. The mix on this album means you start off with the gentle folk sounds and suddenly move to the honky tonk........it is as if this was a demo (a well produced one) or he simply could not decide what sort of album he wanted or had to fill it up to make up the tracks. A review is very much down to the listener and is subjective......this album does not work for me.....it is a mess.....fairly miserable.....and not an album I will return to. Very disappointed. This singer has talent and with the right material could make a very good James Taylor type album OR a very good honky tonk album but in my opinion should not mix the 2 styles on one album. If you like Jame Taylor or his type of the music....first 4 tracks......if you like honky tonk....texas country......the remainder.....it i the mix of the 2 that is odd.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9c3e9c90) out of 5 stars 10 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c2be2a0) out of 5 stars There should be more reviews here folks... 10 Mar. 2012
By Mr. Kendall A. Whitney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was stumbling along clicking through the Amazon site, looking to see if this wonderful singer/songwriter, Robert Ellis, had a new album. Well he only released Photographs last year but I am eager to hear lots more. While I was clicking through, I noticed that there are only 4 reviews for this album. Holy smokes. This guy should be blowing up. This album is on repeat ad infinitum in my truck. One of the best debuts I've heard in my 35 years of existence. We're looking at a true genius. His voice is soft, but his lyrics hit hard. The musicianship is stellar. I don't usually write reviews, but I couldn't let this one go.

On his song "Coming Home," a beauty, he clearly declares his influences: "I got Lefty, Willie, Hank and Townes to keep me company." I got the disc because I'm a Willie Nelson and Hank Williams fan, but there is a lot more here than just a Hank Williams wannabe. So young, maybe 23, 24, this Robert Ellis is wise beyond his years and well worth a listen. He seems to have his act together and, like I said, I'm looking forward to another album.

This is the real deal folks.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c502a5c) out of 5 stars Check This Album Out! 28 April 2012
By Rich D - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Robert Ellis has created a distinct country style that is also very traditional. Listen to a couple of his songs,and you immediately know who the artist is. And like all good songs, each listen to the tunes on this collection shows something new and makes you want to hear more. I recently saw Mr. Ellis open for the Drive By Truckers in Los Angeles and his understated yet strong stage presence and playing made for a memorable performance. Check this album out and then check him out live!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c4d3a98) out of 5 stars A very strong four stars 12 Jun. 2013
By Peter - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
And I would only give five stars to my favorite records of all time. By, say, George Jones or Paul Simon, of which Ellis is a good mixture.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By chris carollo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I had the recent opportunity to see Robert Ellis open up for the Old 97's in Chicago. Usually when you see the opening act people are distracted, talking, etc.. Not here. Robert and the rest of the band had the audience mesmorized.

They are truly one of the most amazing tight knit bands I have ever seen. I was hooked after one song as was most the crowd.

I bought the CD at the show two weeks ago and haven't taken it out of my car since. Robert and the band have a quiet confidence that is lacking in most music. I have not stopped talking about them since I've seen them. Take a listen, you won't be disappointed.
HASH(0x9c292ac8) out of 5 stars Beautiful! 17 Dec. 2011
By Jason Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The first time I saw Robert Ellis he must have been 19 years old. It was downstairs at the Avant Garden and he opened for Sideshow Tramps who I'd heard was a must see act. I went to find out what this Sideshow Tramps thing was all about, but I went home raving about the opener. Robert Ellis just felt like the "real deal". He even reminded me of Nick Drake, one of my favorite singer/songwriters of all time. I followed him mostly from afar after that as I could never seem to get out to see him at his residency on Wednesdays at Mango's or Fitzgerald's. I'd catch him on the weekends when I could. When his new album came out I started listening to it and dove deep into it. "Side A" is stark and gorgeous while "Side B" is good old fashioned country in the vein of Charlie Rich, probably one of my favorite Country singers ever. Seems like he's hitting more with the public on the Country side (he's amazingly versatile), but I hear him as an American version of late 60s British Folk, again like Houston's answer to Nick Drake. That Houston has an answer to Nick Drake is pretty amazing ain't it?!
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