Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Robert Ellis - This Hard Land, 3 Mar 2014
This review is from: The Lights From The Chemical Plant (Audio CD)
Robert Ellis is a Texan who has moved to Nashville to perfect his art. On "The Lights from the Chemical Plant" he has largely succeeded. Your reviewer was drawn to this singer having listened to his scintillating cover of Paul Simon's "Still Crazy After all These Years" which could have been made for a country twang and steel guitar. The good news is that Ellis has much more to offer not least the sobering honesty of the excellent "Pride" which shuffles along with admirable clarity. Opener "TV Song" also stands out as a rolling country ballad referring to his love of the Goggle Box and Walt Disney. Yes it sounds trite but it works very well.

With former Tom Waits cohort Jacquire King at the controls "The Lights" never descends into the sentimentality or mawkishness that disfigures so many country albums. The title track for example is a lovelorn jarring song of Springsteen like imagery not least the observation that "Love like in a man's react/Constellations in the black/The lights from the chemical plant/Burn bright in the night like an old kerosene lamp" Its great stuff as is the beautiful country simplicity of songs such as "Steady is the Rising Run" which has mainstream Nashville "hit" stamped all over it. Alternatively the longest track on the album is the splendid "Houston" that shows an artist with crossover appeal to spare and an ability to reach out to rock sensibilities. If there is a problem on this album it is that the lyrics do need some work as there are a number of country cliches that are rolled out which frankly could be cut and paste from any Nashville source.

The good news is that this is Robert Ellis third album and like all great country singers he has a voice that emphasizes vulnerability and heartache. In relation to "Bottle of Wine" it harks back to his producers association with Tom Waits with a bar stool lament destined to be washed down with a Jack Daniels or two. All in all "The Lights from the Chemical Plant" is a desirable album from an artist who will no doubt go from strength to strength.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Mar 2014 13:52:41 GMT
How well do you listen to the music that you review? Three four star reviews for three albums on the day of their release and they were all released on the same day. Vote chasing or genuine reviews?

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Mar 2014 15:23:23 GMT
Red on Black says:
Shopping Voucher as you are clearly a "ghost" account I will keep my reply polite. There is something out there called the INTERNET. On it are legal websites who stream albums two weeks before they are formally released. I would give examples but it will do you good to look.

I also contribute to a number of music sites who send pre-release albums in return for a few scribbling''s. As a result reviewing them and listening to them is a pleasure. If you want to vote for the reviews please do so, if you don't like the reviews vote negative but perhaps before you question another persons motives do some basic research.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Mar 2014 19:56:16 GMT
To save people doing research or questioning your motives, you may just want to include some sort of disclaimer such as "I don't own this CD but I did stream it online prior to its release" or "I was given a pre-release copy of this CD". Just a thought.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Mar 2014 20:06:01 GMT
Last edited by the author on 5 Mar 2014 12:41:13 GMT
Red on Black says:
Why would I want to do that? What exactly is your problem. Has any one died because after listening over a two week period I posted three reviews in day? When reviewing a country album like this do you need to listen to it 50 times to know whether its good or bad. Is reviewing an album by a very obscure Country artist "vote chasing" Again my advice back to you is if you don't like my reviews vote them down or pen some words of your own and perhaps we can exchange opinions. Cheers
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4.8 out of 5 stars (4 customer reviews)
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Red on Black
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