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Chris Connelly is aScottish born, Chicago based singer/songwriter with a decade long solocareer that has produced five albums thus far under his own name andThe Bells band name.ChrisConnelly is a Scottish born, Chicago based singer/songwriter with adecade long solo career that has produced five albums thus far underhis own name and The Bells band name. Recorded between 1995 and 1997,"The Ultimate.." was originally released as The Bells debut in '97 byChicago indy HitIt! Recordings and is now being revisited courtesy ofanother Chicago indy Invisible Records. It looks and sounds better thanever as it's digitally remastered with 4 bonus tracks and has a lovelynew insert with all the lyrics. With this album Connelly moved awayfrom the more rock oriented moments of '94's "Shipwreck" and furtherhoned his poetic pop songwriting craft with a collection of mellow andlush fragments and songs about love, life, death, travel and the watersof the rivers and the seas. These songs are brought to fruition withthe aid of long time collaborators Chris Bruce (Prince, Seal) andWilliam Rieflin (Ministry, Revolting Cocks) as well as Jim O'Rourke(Gastr Del Sol). Waves of acoustic and electric guitars, bass, banjo,lapsteel, harmonica, piano, kalimba, keyboards, organ and simpleprogrammed rhythms flood all of the spaces beneath and betweenConnelly's emotive vocals to give the album a bit of an Americana rootssound and feel throughout. The two bonus studio outtakes from theSeaside sessions "Chorus of Eyes" and "Thunderland Reel" are just Chrison guitar and vocals. The two bonus live tracks are '98 live bandrenditions of Seaside songs, both with additional/differingarrangements. "The Ultimate Seaside Companion" is ultimately just that... a beautiful, soulful album that's part open diary and part travelcompanion on the open waters. It's certainly a landmark in Connelly'smuch underrated songwriting career and deserved of this improvedrerelease. The new Chris Connelly and The Bells album "Blonde Exodus"is due later this year on Invisible and "Largo" by Connelly/Rieflin isdue early next year on First World Records ...