Paul Kelly

Words & Music

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Aussie wordsmith par excellence Paul Kelly delivers his strongest batch of soul-stirring pop nuggets and heart-rendingly romantic ballads to date with Words & Music. For his 15th album, cult maestro Kelly draws on a rich tapestry of characters and true to life situations, and has his finger firmly planted on the universal heartbeat with loose, catchy yarns of aging rather ungracefully ("Nothing on My Mind"), musical inspiration (the title track), and Christmas in jail ("How to Make Gravy"). His five-piece backing band, a crack outfit, steers the troubadour from Down Under's powerful voice expertly through crackling electric guitar outbursts, soothing reggae rhythms, and soulful soliloquies alike. Two stunning duets ("She Answers the Sun" with Rebecca Barnard and "Melting" with Monique Brumby) add a unique and welcome feminine perspective to Kelly's sometimes boyish (but always charming) pleas for affection. A mature, satisfying collection of gut-grabbing rockers and goosebump-inducing story songs from a 40-something guy with more youthful energy and wide-eyed adoration for the true spirit of rock & roll than any five Top Ten teen acts on any chart in the world combined. Kelly himself says it best in "Nothing on My Mind": "The young people?/I never did one damn good thing until I was over 30!"

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