Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Favorite Albums: Elf - Trying To Burn The Sun

Trying To Burn The Sun is the last Elf album, and similarly the last Elf album to be included in my Favorite Albums list (aha a stupid joke). Check out my articles on their other two albums, Elf and Carolina Country Ball, for more Elfy goodness.

It seems that the band seemed to know this was to be their final release, as Trying To Burn The Sun pulls out all the stops. The album includes some of their best songs, most varied compositions, and almost every track of the record has a centralized story - something I love within my music. This album, on a song by song basis, is the greatest of the Elf albums. It contains their best tracks, all collected very nicely in one place.

The best song on the album, and a solid contender for my favorite by the band, is "Streetwalker." I've already gone through everything about this song, so there isn't much more to say; check out that article for more. Other great songs are "Black Swampy Water," and "Good Time Music," both of which really are 'good time music', utilizing the big band sound that initially got my attention from the band. "Prentice Wood," "When She Smiles," "Liberty Road," and "Wonderworld" are all mellow, blues-heavy pieces, relying on the cohesiveness of the whole group to get the various messages across. "Shotgun Boogie" is exactly what it says, a boogie. It's a hopping piece, very quickly jumping between which instrument has the center stage. Within an album of mostly slower pieces, this song really stands out.

Although Trying To Burn The Sun is the last official Elf album, it may be that way in name only. After this album, the band was recruited by Ritchie Blackmore (post Deep Purple - the first time) to back his new solo project, eventually titled Rainbow. Because of this, I include that album, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, as being the fourth and truly final Elf album - mostly because all of the group's members, besides Dio, were fired after the release of that album. But either way, this album is a great ending to a short but powerful career. I know I stated that I like preceding album, Carolina County Ball, more then this one - which still holds true - but the overall composition of Elf's final album exceeds all their others hands down. It has the most skill and the most soul within it, and something I think every fan of classic/blues rock needs to listen to.

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