The Kennedys

Closer Than You Know

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For more than a decade and a half, Pete and Maura Kennedy have been plowing their furrow of original material that could (mostly) have come straight out of the 1960s. By now they have it down to a fine art, able to compose catchy, arresting material, and this is no exception. It all starts in high style with the almost psychedelic "Winter" before easing into the gentle "Rhyme and Reason," with its layered Maura vocals. Pete, as usual, shines instrumentally, playing virtually everything and proving once more how masterful he can be on guitar. But really, it's about the writing and delivery, as the sublime "Cradle to a Boat" shows, as perfect a piece of acoustic pop as is likely to come around during 2012. "Big Star Song" pays homage to Alex Chilton and the band, quite aptly as power pop progenitors. "Winter Lies" closes everything, a gorgeously atmospheric track with the emphasis on the vocals. While hewing close to their core ideal, the Kennedys have pushed at the boundaries a little. An excellent release from start to finish.

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