This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 5/99
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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An introspective exploration of the flesh and spirit permeates Ellis Paul's latest release, "Translucent Soul." With the dissolution of his marriage providing both impetus and grist for the mill, the eleven songs and one hidden track contained here reach beyond the surface content of each cut to examine fear, loss, forgiveness, love, faith, anger, mystery and acceptance.
Despite his loss and the resulting maelstrom of personal emotions, this is not a collection of rants and whines. Paul is seemingly incapable of pedestrian lyrics--his literate prose elevates each of his enchanting discourses to an artful degree. His emotion-laden and passionate vocals synergistically dovetail with both his material and musical backing.
Paul remains a masterful musical impressionist, rarely presenting a straightforward, connect-the-dots landscape. He skillfully draws in the listener by depicting easily identifiable, universal situations and emotions. However, the portraiture of each of his commonplace pictures is made remarkable in his hands. The imagery he presents typically provides leeway for subjective interpretation, allowing the canvas to be embellished by each listener.
In "Seven," unable to call, write or wait any longer, he regretfully attempts some closure in a relationship:
Seven times I asked forgiveness
Seven time I'll wait you out
Seasons will change before words come round
And in my search for reasons
I will wash away my doubt
That came wrapped inside a wedding gown...
And what the price
What the cost
Is this the poetry of loss
The past we build is all torn down..."
You think more of the future
When change brings your past to an end
Use your love like a suture
That's a good place to begin..."
And you'd say
"Pain is a relative thing"
I'd say "Thank you Mr. Einstein"
You go on about space,
This place in time
But that's no way to explain it
When you're mining it...
'Cause it's all feel
But there I'm caught
Trying to untangle it..."
...And I think to myself
"Man, that's not what I'd choose
But here I am
and look where I've gone
All for the song
Till the tide comes along..."
Paul on acoustic guitar, harmonica and vocals is assisted by Jerry Marotta on drums and bass guitar; Tony Levin on bass; Bill Dillon on acoustic and electric guitar and mandolin; Harvey Jones on keyboards and piano; Duke Levin on electric guitar; Don Conoscenti on electric guitar; Chris Nekvinda on acoustic guitar; James Rotondi on bazouki and acoustic guitar; Dar Williams, Brooke Burton, Mark Tanzer and Ralph Jacodine on backup vocals.
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