The Chess Hotel review by The Elms

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  • Released: May 2, 2006
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 10 (1 vote)
The Elms: The Chess Hotel

Sound — 10
The sound of The Elms' music has changed over the course of their career. Their debut was pure Brit-pop, like a lighter version of Oasis. Their second album sounded like Oasis, though it did have other influences. Now this album is a straight-up rock and roll sound, one that hasn't been heard in its pure form in a long time. These guys pull it off brilliantly. Most of it is brash, bold, rock, but it does have mellow moments like "I Left My Body and Never Came Back" and "I've Been Wrong." The bold rock shows on anthems like "Who Puts Rock and Roll in Your Blood?" the first single of the album "Nothin' to Do With Love," boot stomping rockers like "She's Cold!" and epics like "The Towers and the Trains." The sound is brilliant, a revival of true rock and roll could start here.

Lyrics — 10
Owen Thomas (Lead singer and guitarist) is a brilliant musician and songwriter; I would like to think of him as a modern Bob Dylan, lyrically. He has the best vocals I have ever heard; his vocals fit his songs perfectly. Lyrics include songs about what love is and isn't ("Nothin' to Do With Love,") a cruel ex ("She's Cold!") and hard workers (The short acoustic interlude "Bring Me Your Tea.") Great lyrics complement this music well.

Overall Impression — 10
Overall, this is easily the second best album of 2006 (next to "Stadium Arcadium" by RCHP). It's sad that these guys go unnoticed, they've got a dynamite sound and the talent to match. These guys are great at everything they do. Bold lyrics, original sound. That description describes few artists today, but it sure does describe The Elms.

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