CD Elyse [Remaster] * (CD 1002901),
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Elyse [Remaster] *
1. Last Ditch Protocol/John Velveteen
2. Deed I Do
3. Iron Works
4. Spirit of the Letter
5. Here in My Heart (Underneath the Spreading Chestnut Tree)
6. Band of Thieves
7. Sweet Pounding Rythm
8. Meet Me at the Station
9. Simpleminded Harlequin
10. Painted Raven
11. Mortuary Bound
12. If Death Don't Overtake Me
13. Houses - (featuring Neil Young)
14. What You Call It
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1
Gene Shiveley; Gene Shiveley
Personnel includes: Elyse, Neil Young.
Originally released in the late 1960s.
Personnel: Elyse (vocals); Neil Young (vocals, guitar); Collin Walcott (sitar, tabla).
Audio Remasterer: Derek Almstead.
Liner Note Author: Andrew Rieger.
Recording information: 1968.
Unknown Contributor Role: Joey Newman .
Arranger: Don Gallucci.
Picked up for reissue in 2001 by Orange Twin Records and earmarked as a rediscovered psych-pop classic, this long-overlooked record is primarily composed of quietly plucked acoustic guitars, overlain with Elyse's Elyse Weinberg's hearty vocals, which bear some resemblance to other endearingly hoarse-voiced performers like Janis Joplin and Melissa Etheridge, and her fellow Toronto contemporary, Joni Mitchell. The air of psychedelia is fairly faint, springing up in the mystical traces of sitars that appear in songs like "Deed I Do" and in lyrics that refer to lovers with names like Sir John Velveteen. In its day, sometime in 1968, the record drew praise from many circles and even earned Elyse a spot on The Johnny Carson Show. However, subsequent records were left unreleased and Elyse faded into history. Elyse is lo-fi, in that the record itself is fairly straightforward musically and that, while the release is on CD, one can hear the crackle and hiss of vinyl, perhaps indicating that this reissue was not remastered from the original. However, given the tone of the music, the low-level record noises are a positive thing, adding to the overall feel of this record's vintage status. The quiet acoustics take a back-seat on "Spirit of the Letter," which is a full-on rock song, and somewhat surprisingly, largely better than many of the quieter songs. Perhaps the record's most noteworthy track is "Houses," a gorgeous song about the impossibility of trading places; beautiful on its own, its brilliance is amplified by featured guest Neil Young. The album-closer "What You Call It," and in some ways the album as a whole, brings to mind the longing tone of Jeremy Enigk's sans Sunny Day Real Estate effort, Return of the Frog Queen. ~ Karen E. Graves
CMJ (8/01, p.80) - "...Elyse's raw, pitch-imperfect voice is [like] Janis Joplin's, with phrasing rooted in post-accident Dylan....The music is even less predictable, with the singer's 6 and 12-string picking pitted against string arrangements, saloon piano and an earthy rhythm section..."
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