Soundings in Film

Paul Kelly / Paul Kelly

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Soundings in Film Review

by Thom Jurek

Before you get all pumped up, this is not that Paul Kelly, the Aussie pop/rock songwriter. This is Paul Kelly from Connecticut, the one who is a film editor and composer and does ads for Calvin Klein. He also scored Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday. Got your attention? That little fact cleared up, there are at least a dozen reasons why punters should connect with this cat's music, but we'll only go into a few. First and foremost, there are few composers who can actually make music for film. That era was lost for the most part with Bernard Hermann and Roy Budd and John Barry's early work. Most composers either sketch the cinematic narrative or enhance it with such dramatic verve that the scene itself is lost. Kelly is a member of the former school. His starkly beautiful conceptions bring the image to the fore and allow the music to inform it rather than simply mirror it. His moving sound constructions are full of emotions and moods -- not all of them pleasant -- and his takes on funk, rock, and blues are not journeyman, but those of a musician who takes these art forms seriously and seeks to represent them accurately in his utterances. Kelly may be a sketcher, but his sketches stand on their own outside the realm of the image as music even more successfully than Ry Cooder. The 19 pieces offered here run the musical gamut, but they all bear a signature that is as individual as a painting. And that's what these are, really -- sound paintings that illustrate, and they do it so indelibly, poetically, and frighteningly honestly that it would be criminal to deny him a place in your own musical library.

blue highlight denotes track pick