Jeff Kelly

Indiscretion

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Green Pajamas leader Jeff Kelly's sixth solo album is a 50-minute song cycle that the singer/songwriter describes as a concept album about Catholic guilt and desire. Unlike most of Kelly's previous solo albums (four of which were compiled in the 2000 box set Melancholy Sun), this album sounds conspicuously like the Green Pajamas. The downright poppy "Somebody's Daughter" is particularly Pajamas-like, but all ten songs are more rock-oriented than some of Kelly's earlier solo records. "Cruel Velvet Sea," for example, fits a fuzz guitar line, swoopy orchestral stabs reminiscent of classic ELO singles, and a pounding piano line into a rocking slice of art pop that almost sounds like it could have been an FM radio hit back in the '70s. It's followed up by the music box-like "Balthus, King of Cats," a lovely little acoustic song with a Baroque string section and harpsichord accents. The most intriguing piece on the album is "The Ghosts of Holy Rosary," a medley of three songs Kelly wrote as a teenager attending a private Catholic school which amplify and extend the religious themes of the other songs. Though religious references and metaphors are all over this album, the emphasis is squarely on the psych-pop melodies and textured arrangements, making Indiscretion a worthwhile album even for those not particularly interested in Jeff Kelly's spiritual doubt. Kelly's most straightforward solo record, it's also one of his best albums period, including his Green Pajamas records.

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