11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2001
The joke goes something like this. George Harrison enters the gates of Heaven and encounters the legendary band people on Earth only dream about. Jimi, Janis, Elvis, Keith Moon, and all the other legends are playing away. He notices a familiar figure in black leather and sunglasses belting out U2's Sunday Bloody Sunday. Turning to John Lennon, George remarks it was odd that Bono died the same day he did. Lennon turns to Harrison and says, "that's just God, sometimes he thinks he's Bono".
In todays age of self absorbed stars with an inflated sense of their own importance, it's refreshing to see that somebody like Ellis Paul is still performing and recording.
Ellis is, in short, New England. He's a story teller with all of the simple humility and ability to connect that is sorely lacking today. In a recent performance, he sang acappella while changing his own guitar strings. Rather than brag about singing the National Anthem before a Red Sox-Yankees game, he told the audience about the overwhelming urge he had to run the bases at Fenway before he was done singing. Instead of preaching about his views on 9-11, his guitar simple had the words, "Terror Killing Machine" scrawled on it in a Woody Guthriesque manner.
Paul's "Sweet Mistakes" is an eclectic mix of stories that gives Paul the room to experiment with hip-hop beats and backup singers. Because the album is more a collection of songs than a true album recorded as a unit, the listner is treated to Paul's experimentation along with his trademark guitar and vocals.
My personal favorite is the acappella "Beautiful Word". New Orleans, 3,000 Miles, Kristian's Song are also standouts. It's much easier to listen and absorb Ellis Paul, than it is to critique him. In short, it's a great CD and I reccomend it.
Thank you Ellis, as long as you keep making real music, real people will keep listening.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2003
"Sweet Mistakes" is a song that was chosen for the movie "Shallow Hal".
"Kristian's Song" is about Kristian Bush (One half of Billy Pilgram and producer (along with one half of "Catbird Seat's Bob Bedell!!--Hi Bob and Don McCallister). This is a very cinema-graphic song ("Past an old man at a window past two kids asleep on pillows, past a woman like a willow") "Seventeen Septembers" is about a couples ironic breakup---their offspring is at the same age as they were when they made-out in the back of a car ("One night in a car changed who you are") "New Orleans" is a cool finger-picked love song ("Here's me tripping on the clouds, i'm laughing tumbling down, I've fallen on your door step--In New Orleans, it stretches
beneath my feet, I'm the King of Bourbon Street, Stike a match and all the street lights catch"
"The Art of Distance" ("You get the call on your message machine, its 2am, it better be important" "if you knew the art of distance would you lay in your bed or take a cab across town". "Medicine" is one a song about dependence on drugs (references to Marilyn Monroe ("Who's gonna call Joe Dimaggio") "And we've asked you to change and ain't it strange how friends disappear". "The Martyr's Lounge" is a long time favorite concert song---a funny (ha-ha) song. "3000 Miles" is a remix one of the songs Ellis plays alot in concert---and rightly so: with its driving (no pun intended) panaramic lyrics. "Down in Houston on comes this woman With two kids and a bottle of booze,And she cracked them both like match heads Whenever they ventured too close to her fuse" "The 20th Century Is Over" is one of Ellis's poems set to a rather cool laid-back rap-like backing music---it really grows on ya with time. Find out what Ellis thinks about the 20th century! "Beautiful World" is another poem sung. "Independence Day" Rocks ("I shed some light on the mystery of why I kicked her out on Independence Day, With the fire works burning I found my self learning--couldn't lay in my bed the same way") "Roll Away Bed" is for the sheer fun of it kinda song. Indeed no mis takes!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2002
I'm not sure what everyone's talking about, but this is Ellis' most polished, well produced, folk-rocky, dare I say potentially "breakout" CD so far. Ellis, please consider working with this producer next time. Forget the new one (Speed of Trees), and seek out this superb CD!
on February 5, 2002
This is a CD that is actually made up of B-Sides, old recordings and remastered tunes, and in a word, awesome. From the dream-song (yes, based on an actual dream) "New Orleans" to the moving-on song "Independence Day" this CD is soft and rockin' at the same time. It, like most of Ellis' music, has a little something for everyone. The driving desperation of "Medicine," the discovery and memories of "Seventeen Septembers"--I could go on and on. This is an incredible CD, and it stands solidly next to Ellis' label recordings (Ellis put this one out on his own). Deep lyrics and great melodies will draw you in! Buy this CD while you can!