Ellis Paul's first foray into the ever-expanding world of children's music may not end up being the coolest kid's record to be released in 2008 but it damn well might, by the time voting closes on the 2008 Fids and Kamily music poll, end up being considered the prettiest.
Mr. Paul, a long-time veteran of the Boston music scene, applies his passionate, socially-aware and highly literate brand of folk rock to the 13 tracks on the immaculately conceived Dragonfly Races. From the gorgeous 24 pages of album art (also the handy-work of the talented Ellis Paul) to the insightful and thought-provoking lyrical content - this entire record is a masterwork.
"The Dragonfly Races" contains what will easily be one of my top songs of 2008 in "Road Trip". This track, about the simple beauty of packing up the family into the car and traveling across this great country, features one of the most lyrically beautiful and instantly memorable musical phrases in recent memory when Ellis sings "...the miles on the dash are doing back flips." One could picture Ellis watching the odometer turn and turn while on tour, imagining the digits in a gymnastic routine. The line is sung with such grace and joy, it makes me happy every single time it comes through the speakers.
Watch him perform "Road Trip" live on a TV program.
Everything about this disc such screams beauty. I am pleased to have this in my collection and cannot possibly recommend it enough to each of you reading Out With The Kids right now.
Buy it right now, directly from the artist. You will not be disappointed, I promise.
...and if you are lucky enough to live in Philly, Boston, D.C. or Sacramento - get out and see Ellis perform special family shows in the 1st half of 2008.