Now the News – ELI – ForeFront Records
The unique style of this artist is bound to make big news as he
exposure. On ‘Now the News’ ELI addresses issues, comments on the world
scene, uses biblical allusions, interprets modern media, and continues his
poetic musical journey of socially and spiritually conscious lyrics.
He reminds me of HARRY CHAPIN, JIM CROCE, GORDON LIGHTFOOT, DYLAN,
MCLEAN, all rolled up into one. Vocally ELI has one of the most distinctive
deliveries and one-of-a-kind voices I can remember. While he mainly plays
acoustic guitar, the supporting musical cast performs impressively, laying
down solid support.
ELI kicks off with the imaginative “Beggars” and then after a
interlude he delivers the impressive title track. The lead guitar here is
red-hot and basically overpowers any acoustic instrument. It is spicy
forward-moving pop and has great airplay potential. The comes “Master’s
Feet” a song that reflects on the story of Jesus and the prostitute and how
the religious are always the first to oppose love and truth. These “holy”
are the hypocrites. This is a slow lush cut that comes off as a beautiful
piece of art. That–there is room for sinners at the Master’s feet–is his
“Waves of An Ocean” (4:23) is a delicious work. Here the rhythm
engulf the listener. Moved by this volatile forward-looking sound, the song
is magical. An excellent tune, one of the best I’ve heard recently, and that covers all genres. Next on “Million Bucks” the thick organ and other
instruments carry a sense that reminded me of VAN MORRISON. It’s another
solid winner that can easily become a mainstream hit. Strong work from Mark
Chesshir, a name new to me.
The ninth track is “Some Say” which is more for the CCM audience.
bound to be a hit. “Never Knew…” is another fine effort that displays the
talent of this singer/songwriter. One of the best numbers here is cut 11 “Do
What You Said.” ELI comments on hunger and other subjects in a way rarely
done by most CCM singers. He recalls the best of SPRINGSTEEN, U-2, and
others who addressed social ills.
“Pilgrim’s Song” not only comes off as a great song but is a
that ought to be classic material. ELI is a poet, a prophet, a thinker, and
a conscience like DYLAN, V. MORRISON, or KEITH GREEN. A super work. We next
move on to a different little tune titled “Better Day.” ARLO GUTHRIE or VAN
M. would be proud. Many may even think that this is a new VAN MORRISON tune.
Great stuff with a twist, a solid gospel song with a difference, it has a
bright vibrant feel.
ELI’s latest album is many levels above his good earlier CD. This
how to connect with the audience. His closing “interlude” is a funny winner,
good enough to compete with many comedians as he takes over a cell phone.
‘Now the News’ is a super project that succeeds
musically and lyrically. ELI could become a huge name. Many of these songs,
delivered as singles, should grab many DJ’s and Music/Program Directors.
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