Rory Ellis has no problem singing what’s on his mind. On his fourth album, <i>Two Feathers</i> he takes on everything from the Iraq War to Satan and he takes it all and wraps it in an Americana-roots style.
On the opener, "Passenger" Ellis sounds like a folky version of Burl Ives, while "Home Tonight" is a brilliantly intense bluegrass tune that sounds like it would be right at home on an Allison Krauss and Union Station album.
He takes on ruthless business owners on "Work" asking "Did you sign that thing where the devil gets to rule your soul?" Ellis also takes on the Iraq War with lyrical ferocity in "No Love in This War," saying "Why don’t you run on home/ The sun is setting down in your home town/ And your children cry all alone/…/ So when your engaged and the bullets are firing/ That’s when her teardrops start/ ‘Cause you’re no good to her in a casket."
He’s not pissed throughout the entire album however. Ellis does a complete reversal on the tribute to his daughter. "Little One" is heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. He croons that "I’d fly from this window to be with you, and I’d break every bone in this body to show you I can."
One of the best things about the album is Ellis writes a sentence or two about why he wrote the song in the liner notes, which gives the listener a better understanding of the song and makes it more intimate.
<i>Two Feathers</i> is an intense and engrossing album. It showcases Rory Ellis’s songwriting and voice, and both are so powerful, that even if the music doesn’t grab you, his singing and writing will.