Robert Ellis

The Lights from the Chemical Plant (New West)

SXSW 2014 Records

Robert Ellis

The Lights From the Chemical Plant (New West)

Much has happened to Robert Ellis since his first New West release, 2011's Photographs. For one, he moved from Texas to Nashville, dedicated to growing his song craft. The Lights From the Chemical Plant easily outshines the uneven Photographs, but Ellis' reach still exceeds his grasp. With Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Kings of Leon) producing, he's crafted a different kind of Americana, one where pop, country, and roots rock mingle but never quite get comfortable. Part of the problem remains in Ellis' reedy voice, which mutes the impact of the songs like the soul-stirring title track and a misplaced cover of Paul Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years." Still, the redneck novelty of "TV Song" name dropping Walt Disney and Betty Draper, and the reverb-soaked and soaring "Only Lies" stand out for pop melodies on tales well told. (9:50pm, Red 7; Fri., Continental Club, 11pm)

**.5

READ MORE
More Robert Ellis
Force of Circumstance
Force of Circumstance
Houston's Robert Ellis takes Americana surreal

Doug Freeman, June 3, 2016

SXSW Friday Interviews
SXSW Friday Interviews
Spotlighting Texas at SXSW TGIF

March 14, 2014

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Shinyribs
I Got Your Medicine (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 24, 2017

Texas Platters
Curtis McMurtry
The Hornet's Nest (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, Feb. 24, 2017

More by Jim Caligiuri
Texas Platters
Gurf Morlix
The Soul & The Heal (Record Review)

Feb. 24, 2017

10 Minutes With Joe Ely
10 Minutes With Joe Ely
“It’s either being creative or I’m bored easily”

Feb. 9, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Robert Ellis

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)