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Ellis Paul


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

by Kevin O'Hare

One of the best writers to ever emerge out of the Boston music scene, Ellis Paul's first new studio album in five years was built around a bond between the singer and his fans.

It was Paul's loyal fan base that raised more than $100,000 to fund the recording project and their guy lived up to his end of the bargain, delivering one of the finest albums of his career.

The 15-song offering is filled with Paul's exquisite craftsmanship, exemplified in the title track, one of five songs co-written with Sugarland's Kristian Bush. Paul turns some of life's most complicated situations into conversational beauty in the piano-backed track, which also features his soul-stirring vocals at their upper-octave finest.

Elsewhere, he covers miles of musical territory, rockin' out with pure Americana on "The Lights of Vegas;" shaking up a lusty storm on the banjo-backed set-opener "Annalee;" eventually mixing a radically reworked but downright playful version of the Patsy Cline classic "Walking After Midnight," with his own "Change;" before turning in a dreamlike soundscape of a duet with Bush on "Paper Dolls."

This sure sounds like the best $100,000 a singer's fans have spent in a long time.

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