Wednesday, July 17, 2013

CD Review: Ellis Clark - LP Number One


Ellis Clark’s long history on the Chicago music scene includes being a founding member of the bands Social Act and Epicycle; playing guitar and keyboards with The Handcuffs; and producing artists at CAUDog Records. He’s currently pursuing a solo career. On the recently released LP Number One, which is available in CD, digital, 8-track, and vinyl format, Clark gets expert help from musicians he’s worked with, such as drummer Brad Elvis and singer-guitarist Phil Angotti. But it’s still Clark’s baby, with him playing guitar, bass, and keyboards, and writing most of the songs.

Even with all his experience, Clark is still intent of exploring new territory on LP Number One. He employs a soulful croon on slower material like Kevin Gerbers “I Can’t Lose” and his own composition, “Goodbye.” His voice could be described as a deep hush on “Half Glass Full,” a techno-oriented track featuring keyboards, percussion, and Carla Prather’s backup vocals. Prather switches to a spirited gospel delivery on the infectious “God In The 1980s.” Clark creates a wall of sound, complete with Andrew Distels trumpet playing, for the romantic rock song, “Every Single Day,” and combines with Angotti for some lush harmonies on “Stupid And Dumb,” a twisted look at relationships. “Life Hasn’t Killed You Yet” ends LP Number One on a truly solo note, as Clark strums an acoustic guitar and compliments a loved one in an intimate, gritty voice. 

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