Thiessen’s ‘A Rainy Week in Paradise’ an album that travels between sorrow and joy with ease
Elessar Thiessen might sound like a funny name, but don’t let that cloud your judgement about his music. The man’s got skills and he’s not afraid to use them.
On his new album “A Rainy Week in Paradise,” he releases a set of thoughtful, catchy and inspiring songs. Each track explores what it means to possess a heart filled with longing, angst, agony, fear and shattered confidence. The same songs also convey joy, truth and earnestness simultaneously.
The album opens with “Another Love Song,” which is an original track, not the Leona Lewis track, nor is it the Queens of the Stone Age one, either.
It’s pretty simple, with just Thiessen singing over a minimal rhythm guitar section. Opening the song with the sound of rain, given the name of the album, is a nice touch, too. It does a good job at introducing the listener to Thiessen’s talented singing voice and little else.
But while it’s a somewhat slow way to open the album, things liven up on “I Need a Woman.” You’ll probably find yourself comparing Thiessen to Jason Mraz, mostly due to his vocal range and his inflections used on each song. You can make the argument that he, at times, sounds a little TOO much like Mraz, but it doesn’t take away from his musical ability whatsoever.
“I Need a Woman,” also includes a groovy guitar solo that’s a bit surprising, only because it feels like a nice bonus to an already-excellent track.
Another notable track, “You Girl (feat. Alexa Dirks)” lets the guitar take the lead more than perhaps any other track. Dirks hit you with vocals that sound like a musical jujitsu. When both Dirks and Thiessen sing together, it’s pure bliss.
The title track is by-far the best one on the entire album, though. It’s a cheery chorus overflowing with positive energy and a solid hook within the chorus when he sings “A Rainy Week in Paradise” that he delivers with authority. It’s methodical, yes, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable, not in the least.
The album ends on a high note, too, with the most introspective tune on the album, “The Perfect Blume.”
On it, Thiessen sings, “Shaken, used up, broken, heart crushed and paralyzed, brought to my knees. Desperate, longing to end it, all confidence ceased and you know I’d kill for you. I know you care for me too.”
The way the tone switches between the dreary-feeling way he delivers “confidence ceased” and the uplifting, optimistic way he delivers “You know I’d kill for you,” is impressive. It’s something that a musician with less talent could not accomplish with as much ease as Thiessen exhibits here. The song’s joyous piano riff adds another layer of complexity to the music that you might not hear upon first listen, but it’s worth discovering whenever you do happen to notice it.
It’s also pretty evident that Thiessen is a veteran musician. Hailing from Winnepeg, Manitoba, he’s been playing guitar and writing songs since he was 8-years-old. On “A Rainy Week in Paradise” he also wrote and produced each track. When he’s not recording his own music, he also works as a full-time producer, where he’s worked with artists in a variety of genres, from hip hop to pop.