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    Tuesday, July 24, 2018

    #ThemeSongTuesday: Walk With Elias

    Raise your hand if you think Elias was actually going to release a real album this week.

    You filthy liars.

    I don't think any of us genuinely expected an actual album, but WWE swerved us all yesterday by releasing Elias' debut EP, Walk With Elias. It's a four-track blues album that lasts all of fourteen minutes. You can listen to it over your yosi break, a cup of coffee, or during your megadump of the day. Whatever it is you're actually doing doesn't matter. Walk With Elias will supersede it, reminding you in the process just how awesome Elias has become.

    In many ways, the album doesn't take itself too seriously, which is the best approach to anything Elias-related now that he's embraced his character on the main roster. The tone remains consistent across all four tracks, telling you Elias' story and filling in gaps about his gimmick that could slip through the cracks thanks to RAW's inept storytelling.

    The first track, "The Ballad of Every Town I've Ever Been To" is basically Elias cutting a promo and taking a shit on the cities and towns he's wrestled in. It starts pretty much like most Elias segments, as he runs through the names of these cities, saying that the people disgust him and that they make him want to punch them in the face. Sounds simple enough, but what's worth praising is Elias not really overexerting and sounding like he's trying too hard. There's just enough effort and gusto to get him by without sounding like he's out of his range. That's an art in itself right there.

    "Elias' Words" is the second track and it's more of a traditional blues track, with an element of spoken word. Think "One Bourbon, One Shot, One Beer" by George Thorogood, which was part of WWE 2K18's soundtrack. This song is more of a walkthrough of Elias' day and how the character deals with the randos he encounters in life. What's funny about the song is that he still maintains an element of the Drifter gimmick, while also blending in the fact that as a traveling musician and wrestler, he meets so many people on a daily basis.

    "Nothing I Can't Do" is my favorite in the entire EP because it's a stand-out track by virtue of it being the only song that uses a piano instead of an acoustic guitar. It's chords remind me of Coldplay's "The Scientist," while its lyrics break the fourth wall from time to time and reference some events that could very well have happened in real life. One of the more memorable lines is, "The franchise said I was gold and he could see it in my eyes," and I wouldn't be surprised if it referred to John Cena giving Elias a real-life endorsement. For what it's worth, given the time they shared at this year's WrestleMania, it wouldn't be all that surprising.

    Listening to this song, it's as if you aren't hearing Elias, the WWE Superstar, rather Jeffrey Sciullo, the actual guy who plays the character. Bonus points for this song featuring a fake ending—the worst enemy of any radio DJ who is unfamiliar with a song they're playing on air. "Nothing I Can't Do" is the most babyface-y track on the entire EP. Elias is ready for a babyface run, guys. This song proves it.

    The final track, "Walk With Me," rounds the EP out and it's the song that tests Elias' vocal chops the most. Credit Elias for making the most of his range here, without necessarily sounding like he's trying too hard. This song references Elias' status as a new age Pied Piper, especially given his rise to fan favorite on Monday Night RAW. Musically, the song sounds like something you'd hear at a beerhouse locally or at a bar in the Midwest. It's one of those late night ballads you'd have fun belting out after a few beers. The only thing this song needs is a visual of Kyle O'Reilly playing air guitar with his NXT Tag Team Championship belt during the guitar interlude.

    Overall, Walk With Elias is a treat because it's a record that people actually put effort into. It's not your typical CFO$ production, i.e. a loop with only one or two verses that goes on and on for five minutes or so. These are real songs and Elias puts in the effort to sound like a true recording artist and comes away legitimizing himself as one. There's a famous quote that's been passed around the internet among aspiring wrestlers that goes, "Don't just play a wrestler, be a wrestler." And it summarizes the attitude one needs to succeed in the business. In Elias' case, he's no longer just a wrestler playing a musician. He's proven to us all that he is a musician—and a damn good one, too. A.

    Header image from WWE


    Stan Sy (@_StanSy) is the Editor at Large of Smark Henry, and is also a radio DJ on Wave 89.1, an events host, a freelance writer, and one of the hosts of The Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. He also used to be one of the hosts and writers of The Wrestling Gods on FOX. He enjoys watching WWE, NXTLucha Underground, and the occasional New Japan match. You can ask him questions about wrestling, Survivor (yes, the reality show), or whatever you like on his CuriousCat account.

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    Item Reviewed: #ThemeSongTuesday: Walk With Elias Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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