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Peter Elkas

Wall of Fire

(Maple Music; US: 20 Mar 2007)

In the way that Elvis Costello has praised singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith, the Canadian tunesmith has lauded fellow Canadian musician Peter Elkas. This album, produced by Charlie Sexton, is proof positive that Elkas certainly has the goods. Soulful, but with sweet pop smarts, the album gets off the ground with the organic “Fall Apart Again”. “Will Power” is just as tender and original as Elkas wears his heart on his sleeve without going over-the-top with the lyrics. Fans of Sexsmith would lap up most of these songs, especially the roots-y “Sweet Nancy”, which is quite sweet indeed. Perhaps the first real nugget though is the title track that has a rougher, ragged feeling supporting Elkas’ sweet high notes. Even when he goes back to old-school soul he shines with the infectious “Something Beaming”, although the chorus is a hair safe. He redeems himself though with the sparse, Josh Ritter-esque “My Well Runs Deeper”.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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