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Current concise reviews of the albums by adult alternative, contemporary, and crossover artists. Images of album artwork and links to both internet-based resources are always included. Click on the title to view the article.

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Julie Ellison
Image © Acoustyistics 2005  

(07 June 2005) At Last (Acoustyistics (UK) ACYCD104, 2005) is an appropriately titled album. The sleeve notes confirm that Julie Ellison's debut solo CD has been six years in the making. Was it worth the wait? You bet!

Here's the deal: one voice, one guitar, no overdubs but a heart full of attitude. This is Julie laying her soul bare just as she does during her live performances and the result is simply stunning. Like Stephen Sills and Dan Fogelberg, Julie manages to cross musical boundaries without ever diluting the essence of her material.

From the punchy blues of opener "Easy Goodbye" to the unaccompanied folk of "Eyes of a Man", via the heartbreaking ballad "Look Into My Eyes" everything sounds, well, like it belongs on a Julie Ellison album. This eclecticism serves her, and the listener, well.

Julie deals with such tried and tested issues as love, loss and loneliness with a poet's touch, as subtle as a conjurer on "Letting Go" yet wielding a sledgehammer at the male of the species in "Waiting For A Miracle." Emotions rent raw. Strangely though, this isn't a heavy album to listen to. We are taken to some very dark places yet the prevailing feeling is one of hope. Maybe even joy.

The songs are complemented by three instrumentals. "Parting," a lovesong to a guitar which Julie describes as "a tune uncluttered with lyrics", the self-evidently tricky "Spinning" and the truly beautiful "Daydream," all of which demonstrate Julie's seemingly effortless mastery of the guitar.

I've seen Julie’s guitar skills and voice described as "a formidable combination". I'll second that. This album is highly recommended.--Wayne Stote

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