Robert Ellis With Tom Brosseau : Nashville Sunday Night Presented By Wrl...

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Robert Ellis With Tom Brosseau : Nashville Sunday Night Presented By Wrl...
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Robert Ellis With Tom Brosseau : Nashville Sunday Night Presented By Wrl... says
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Robert Ellis has named his new album after himself and the reason is clear. The album is both his most personal statement yet and a summation of his career thus far. Robert Ellis opens with “Perfect Strangers,” a meditation on what brings people together (and how tenuous that connection can be), and ends with “It's Not OK,” a raw look at emotional compromise. Between those two powerful bookends are nine other songs that set Ellis's soaring vocals and knowing melodies against his sharp, dark observations, and that show him in full command of a vibrant set of songwriting skills—irony, distance, character, narrative, a thoughtful relationship between sound and sense. 

 

As he developed as a writer, though, he found himself drawn toward the smartest and sharpest of the class of songwriters who developed in the 1970s: artists like Paul Simon, John Prine, and Randy Newman. And he didn’t just listen to them. He learned from them. Specifically, he learned the finer points of songcraft. “I've been a big fan of Paul Simon for a long time,” he says. “He has this capacity to surprise you with his music and his lyrics. With John Prine's songs, I grew from believing that they happened to him to understanding that it didn’t matter if they really happened to him. And Randy Newman? Wow. I especially love a record like Trouble in Paradise, when there are all these artificial 1980s production techniques, but they’re being used in the service of this master composer.”

 

In the end, Robert Ellis (the album) is the most accurate reflection yet of Robert Ellis (the man). It’s analytical and emotional, calculated in spots and improvisational in others, restless, peaceful, never indifferent, never dispassionate. 

 

North Dakota Impressions, Tom Brosseau’s new album, is the 3rd of a trilogy to visit life from a local perspective, taking the listener on a journey begun with Grass Punks (2014) and Perfect Abandon (2015), through time that doesn’t clip along uniformly on some common interstate but treads at its own pace on a rural route. More glances, more investigations and introspections, more light, more dark. Memories, imaginings, longings for a place, a home. Produced by Sean Watkins in Silverlake and Highland Park, Los Angeles, North Dakota Impressions is a hopeful album.
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By: 3rd & Lindsley Nashville