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Don’t let the album cover of Luke Elliot’s album fool you into thinking he’s some Michael Bublé style crooner. A brooding Duke Special or a latter day  Jacques Brel with flavours of Wainwright and Cohen would be more apt.

Elliot has also turned his hand to acting during his career, so it’s not surprising that the arrangements are atmospheric and have a filmic quality.

William Tell is inspired by William S Burrows murder of his wife is a stand out track. There's smouldering horn arrangements and plenty of attitude. The final lines "I'm gonna write my way out of hell, starting today", encapsulates the carthetic nature of the album for Elliot as well as referencing Burrows. 'When That Great Ship Went Down' is a song Elliot penned about 13 years ago. It’s a bitter sweet folk inspired live song, yet it retains the same moody melancholia of the rest of the album.

On 'I Who Have Nothing Elliot' steps up to join the likes of Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey to match style and tone on the song, but his voice crack at the end takes it out of the area of semi operatic bombast and into the realms of realism.

Much of this album is indeed all about realism, honesty., from breakdowns to break-ups. The album is filled with a rebellious  irreverence too. The sort of two fingers to the world you can only give when you have had to rip it up and start again. The opening lines of the album “On the bathroom wall of the Sistine Chapel I scribbled your name”, hint that this is an album that is determined to be defiantly liberated.

Out of the box, Elliot does not stick to one trick on the album, yes in terms of tone and theme it’s very similar but when it comes to music it’s all over the show. He mixes Americana, country, jazz, funk and whatever else he chooses. It’s dark, unflinchingly honest, timeless and really rather wonderful.


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