Album – Noel Ellis – Noel Ellis

Posted by admin on October 28th, 2006

Whilst I’ve touched on ska music for Indie Launchpad, I’ve not covered any reggae at all. This however has not been for the want of trying. I’ve approached a few artists, but have yet to receive a reply. This self titled album from Noel Ellis came in unsolicited from one of many record labels I deal with, in this case Light in the Attic Records and it wasn’t too long before I knew this was going to be an album that would definitely be reviewed. Whilst there’s only 6 tracks on the album, they each weigh in at between 6 and 7 minutes, so that results in a respectable length album.

The album opens with “To Hail Salassie”, a pretty slow paced track that really gets under your skin and really gets you in the mood for the tracks that follow. Musically on this track, there’s the usual heavy bass line that the track wallows along with, but as the track progresses, there is a wonderful, almost psychedelic production which is very hypnotic and a real treat for the ears. Vocally there’s not much to really pick on or praise, but I will say, there is a great clarity, that is sometimes sadly missing. It’s really great to actually be able to determine what is being said.

“Stop Your Fighting” is somewhat of a departure from the reggae I’m used to, but I have to say that my reggae experience doesn’t deviate away too much from Bob Marley. Sadly narrow, I know, but it’s not like I’m not open to it, it’s must a matter of finding it. “Rocking Universally”, is probably closer to what I would consider as radio friendly reggae. It has a great upbeat feel and bounces along at a nice rate. I do have to admit however, that the quirky little voice that eminates throughout this track does get a bit on the annoying side.

The rest of the album has a more traditional reggae feel to it and it’s the latter half that really clinches this album for me. And that’s where the really funny story comes in. I don’t normally like to research the music I review too much. I like to listen without any kind of bias. It was only while getting ready to post this review, that I found out this album was actually recorded in 1979. It’s then that the album really started to make sense, because it has a very authentic feel, but the dub and ethereal quality also adds a contemporary element.

Conclusion : A great album, that’s like a breath of fresh air. I’ll definitely be playing this in the car and expect my speakers to be getting quite a work out.

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