Monday, August 18, 2008

Ellison Park

By Michael Cho

Music from Denver based Ellison Park. Full of soul, heart and talent.

Ellison Park - When Head Killed Heart EP

Ellison Park’s debut EP displays an incredible vocal range, various styles and tons of promise.  The Chicago area native, who currently resides in Denver, has issued a 5 track EP which displays depth, not only vocally, but in song writing as well.

His songs deal with crisis’s of heart and faith.  From the lyrics to the first track I Keep You In a Flask, “I keep you in a flask/Don’t ask what I use it for/I wear you like a mask/And I use you like a whore/If I came back home/Would you still know my first name?/Are you back in Chicago/At my parents’ place?/And if you’re listening, I’m sorry I’ve made such a mockery out of you/It’s not your time I’m spending/I’m paying for my blues with all your jewels.” To the soul searching in his second track Theology For Robots’, “He reads books on immutable grace/All for Sunday’s masquerade/He’ll argue doctrine that nobody knows/And pray for the ‘sinner’ with one eye closed/And when Sunday comes he straps his khakis on/Tightens up his belt ‘cause he’s gonna give ‘em hell/And it’s obvious to me/He’s just a Pharisee/Don’t get too close/He’s a holy ghost in human clothes/And he’ll turn you into stone” Theology For Robots provides a wry smile for those intimate with being raised in a Korean/Christian environment.

To me, the standout tracks are From Up In My Tree, with its bluesy licks, coupled with a voice which projects an innocent smokiness.  He laments about a irresistible draw to an unrequited love.  The other gem is Like a Portrait, also with a Brazilian jazz/blues undertone, it showcases Ellison’s broad vocal range and songwriting skills.

This is an ambitious first effort, making it easily one of the best group of songs I have heard this year.  Other critics have made comparisons to Jeff Buckley, which are bold, but not out of place.  Park’s voice also seems to flood out of his chest through your speakers the same way Buckley’s did.  Hopefully, the comparison is not too much pressure on the young singer/songwriter and will culminate in a productive career.

When Head Killed Heart is available on iTunes and you can check Ellison Park out on their MySpace page.

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