Rory Ellis – Perfectly Damaged

It’s been multiple years now since hearing Australian troubadour Rory Ellis for the first time. I was in a car listening to the latest batch of CD’s through for review when suddenly this tornado of a voice ripped through the stereo speakers and exploded in my face. Since then – every single release I’ve anticipated with huge excitement. This new one then was no exception.Ellis’s productivity over the last few years has been both blistering and brilliant. Slowly but surely carving a name for himself on the UK roots scene, the hard work is paying off, and it’s with consistently quality records like this that keeps people coming back to his shows.

With a voice like a freight train one minute and soothing lullaby the next, along with great acoustic guitar accompaniment and decorative lap steel flurries throughout, you can hear the quality in the record right from the start. It is however after a few listens when the album really starts to reward you. A slow burner usually turns in to a brilliant piece of work, and slow burners are something Ellis has a habit of producing.

Stand-out tracks on this record include the brilliantly infectious ‘Jesus Lane’, and the almost rag-time sound on ‘Street Angel House Devil’ – however as usual with this man’s work I’m finding new favourite tracks on every listen, which again is something Rory’s songs just have an uncanny knack of doing.

The standard of songwriting is first class, both witty and poignant – and something else that stands out on this record is the fact the artist has taken the time in the sleeve notes to comment on each song, and the reason behind writing it. It gives each song that bit more depth of understanding, which is something lost in the digital age.

This guy truly is the real deal as far as musicians go. It goes without saying this record comes recommended, but then so does his entire back catalogue. Do yourself a favour and go and buy the album via the link below.

Phil Daniels

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