"Spring and Fall"
Gawd Aggie Records
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The release of any Paul Kelly record is cause for something of a celebration (even a quiet, personal one), but "Spring and Fall" marks the Aussie singer/songwriter's first collection of new material in five years. If you're a newcomer to Kelly's oeuvre, a little background is in order: Kelly is perhaps Australia's best-loved artist, and he's done it all -- from full band work with The Messengers and electric and acoustic solo releases to writing a book, scoring films and producing and championing other compatriots. Most of all, it's the joyously high quality of everything he puts his name on that makes Kelly an international treasure.
From the opening pair of songs, "New Found Year" and "When a Woman Loves a Man," the music is spacious and beautiful. "Something New" is an honest and loving (no kidding) take on "stepping out." "Time and Tide" offers life lessons that are worth noting, and "I'm on Your Side" is a Dylan-quality love song. In addition to his songwriting, Kelly makes some of the best-sounding records you'll ever hear.
Finally, a large tip 'o the hat to Dan Kelly who, on guitar, matches his uncle's impeccable taste. (Check out "Cold as Canada.")
The Jigsaw Seen