Having built an albeit relatively low-key career for someone with his lyrical potency and ability to get his guitar talking in the same way as the likes of Tom Waits or Bruce Springsteen , the antipodean searcher, Paul Kelly still remains a quirky aside to music lovers away from his home nation.
Rather than going out on a limb of desperation and cranking it up to get noticed, through ‘Stolen Apples’, Kelly stands firm in his atmospheric tilting, creepy song- building and soul-searching through ‘Feelings Of Grief’. Before slow bouncing baselines hold up his soulful/blues cries, as maudlin poetry is let out of the bag so that feelings of loss are come to terms with.
Kelly puts it all on the line with each album and this is no different, from the slow funk spiked, pious imagery revealing,’ Stolen Apples Taste The Sweetest’, to the delightful love ode of ‘You’re 39, You’re Beautiful And Your Mine’, sincerity and heart are always to the fore.
Despite having been on the scene for nigh on 30 years, playfulness and a youthful innocence manage to play a part, ‘The Lion and the Lamb’. A gritty and dingy Americana parade, ‘Keep On Driving’ continues a trend of Kelly’s, brandishing his ability to use sombre and comforting backing vocals to add texture to the vocal element.
Nearly every album from this hard-working musician, contains a country twanging, acoustic ode and the nostalgic shade of ‘The Foggy Fields Of France’, shows that this tenderizing touch has not been lost.
Through the winds of trends and fashions, Kelly continues to stand firm with his ranging stride and ability to coax along an accomplished backing band, producing moments of reflection, regret and, as always, something to look forward to.