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AAA Music | 22 April 2024

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A.J. ELLIS – Cheating The Czar

| On 06, Jul 2014


Coming into life through the classic format of each instrument making an individual entrance, A.J.Ellis – former frontman of Five O’Clock Heroes – shows a wealth of appreciation for his musical predecessors with ‘Cheating The Czar‘, taken from his upcoming debut solo album Bury The Devil.

With elements of good old-fashioned country mixed in with essences of Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan before being laid over a standard blues chord progression, ‘Cheating The Czar‘ doesn’t bring anything particular new to the table yet it makes for a pleasant listening experience. A.J.Ellis has an instantly endearing voice that draws you in with a warmth and depth that is so often missing in modern music. There are plenty of hallmarks of years gone by, with everything from the backing “Oohs” to the memorable “I know it” repetition in the chorus, hinting that this song would be perfect for a nostalgic American high school dance.

Though it may not be the most exciting or innovative track you’ll hear this year, ‘Cheating The Czar‘ is three and a half minutes of pure, simple pleasure and has such an enticing laid-back style that fits so comfortably with the summer sun.

Ciarán Steward

A.J. ELLIS – CHEATING THE CZAR from Ragtime Records on Vimeo.