Godson of Soul

Ellis Hooks

Since his “discovery” 10 years ago—after six years of playing on corners and in subways here and in Europe—soul singer Ellis Hooks has had a terrific run. Now 31, he’s released four CDs in the past three years on both sides of the Atlantic and opens this with “Five Times,” an unabashed celebration of his sexual prowess (“We made love five times”). He returns to the theme on several other songs, e.g., “Honeysuckle” with the line, “Baby turn me loose; I’ll put my lips on you and suck out all your juice;” while on “Show Me Your Love” he complements his partner thusly: “you’re so sexual, so intellectual,” rasping out the words over a distracting backup group. He’s not always so lucky, however, as he describes in “Chainsaw,” where he wishes for a power tool to extricate himself from a pair of compromising situations. Ellis has a raw, jagged vocal style that suits his material well. The hottest track is the last, “Rock My Stone,”—another in his making love series—that features co-composer/producer Jon Tiven on slide guitar. Now about that “godson” business.