Review-The Washington Post

^ Ellis Paul's music is for kids and adults alike.
ELLIS PAUL"The Dragonfly Races"Ellis Paul

ELLIS PAUL'S "The Dragonfly Races" may look and feel like a children's record, but it sounds like a record for people who have children: It's a collection of songs whose bounciness and subject matter are kid-friendly but whose content is sophisticated enough for adults.

Paul's songs seem like fairy tales set to music. "Abiola" is a girl who stands up against a king deceiving his people for his personal gain; "The Million Chameleon March" tells of a lizard-led protest on Washington with a gentleness that evokes Peter, Paul & Mary ("If we could just play like we're on the same team/This troubled world would be all right").

Paul's soft, sweet voice works beautifully with his subject matter. Its unassuming understatedness parallels the underdog dragonfly who wins "The Dragonfly Races," and the stunning harmonies on the a cappella "The Little Red Rose" underscore the song's message about improving the world with small actions.

Accompanied by CD liner notes that look like a children's book with Paul's own charming illustrations accompanying his lyrics, it's tough to say who will enjoy "Races" more, children or adults. With Paul's discreetly metaphorical songs, there's enough for listeners of all ages to ponder and appreciate.

•- Catherine P. Lewis ^

updated: 8 years ago