Paul Kelly

Spring and Fall

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Spring and Fall are not merely seasons providing the bookends for Paul Kelly's 2012 song cycle, but mirrors of the emotions of falling in and out of love. And that is Kelly's subject on Spring and Fall, his first album in five years and an understated, delicate work that doesn't demand attention so much as require it. Kelly's songs aren't difficult to parse but they're quiet, drawing a listener into his swaying chords and lilting melodies. At this stage, with 30 years of records underneath his belt, Kelly is certainly an old hand at songcraft, and Spring and Fall illustrates this in the best possible sense, its 11 songs containing nary an ounce of fat, unfolding unhurriedly and sounding better as their intricacies become familiar. This is as true of the melodies, whose relaxed gait turns reassuring, as it is of the words, which detail the rise and fall of a romance. There is plenty of warmth here but there's also a sweetly melancholy undertow, which isn't alienating, it's comforting. Spring and Fall is a record for heartaches and healing, another understated gem from a singer/songwriter whose catalog is littered with them.

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