Tuesday, September 8, 2015

CD Review: Singer Songwriter Elessar Thiessen: A Rainy Week in Paradise (Independent - June 10, 2015)

With material from a media release:

CD Review: 
Elessar Thiessen: A Rainy Week in Paradise
(Independent - June 10, 2015)

Buy the CD from iTunes

A Rainy Week in Paradise is the fourth - and first full-length - release from this Winnipeg based singer/songwriter and a strong entry into what is admittedly a crowded field.

Elassar is said to have been drawn to study music during those long Canadian (Winnipeg!) winters and bought his first guitar at the tender age of 8. The lyrics cover personal territory - longing, angst, hope and love and all that. Musically, he covers ground from pop to soft rock to jazzy adult contemporary and touches down on traditional blues too for a nicely diverse range. He's a full-time independent producer as well as a musician, accounting for the lovely, clean sound on the recording. You can listen to some of Elessar’s work at this link.

Another Love Song leaves the focus on his nimble voice and an unabashedly romantic sentiment with a standard pop feel that veers into vintage jazz territory. I Need a Woman is rhythmic and showcases his languid vocal delivery with jazzy chord changes. There's a distinct flavour of rnb in many of the songs and an uptempo, radio-friendly pop/rock vibe to tracks like I Don't Wanna Go and A Rainy Week in Paradise, the title track.

The intensely personal inspiration comes through in some of the songs - like Sister, a ballad ode to a sibling who's leaving home. Without Him is a melancholy ballad with a torchy kind of feel and lyrics that touch on existential angst.

You Girl, a duet with Alexa Dirks and her sultry vocals, is a high note of the album - a slow, sexy and bluesy tune complete with churchy organ riffs and a stuttering drum line.

It's a thoughtful album that should please fans of the singer songwriter genre.

Members/Instruments: (For the album)
Cam Friesen - Drums, Percussion; Brody Britton - Percussion; David Landreth - Bass; Jordan Jackiew - Organ/Piano on Track 5; Alexa Dirks - Vocals on Track 5; Catherine Wylee - Supporting Vocals on Track 3; Elessar Thiessen - Vocals, Guitar, Organ, Piano, Programming

1. Another Love Song
2. I Need a Woman
3. Lover Dear
4. I Don’t Wanna Go
5. You Girl (feat. Alexa Dirks)
6. When the World Ends
7. Without Him
8. Truth
9. A Rainy Week in Paradise
10. Sister
11. The Perfect Bloom


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