Settling down is not in his nature
NATURE PAUL KELLY (EMI)
Look at him go. Paul Kelly is chewing steel, he’s a horse charging full pelt, riding high after an album based on Shakespeare’s writings then a follow-up record even more of a throwback than Seven Sonnets & a Song, titled Life Is Fine. It was an album of Coloured Girls songs, sold 6198 units and PK’s first No.1 with a bullet.
The 63-year-old keeps himself young by staying relevant and relishing the opportunity to pump out another 12 mostly great songs.
And Death Shall Have No Dominion turns up its nose at mortality, a bright start to an album of gliding rock’n’roll and towering Blundstones riffs.
You can hear him smile sarcastically as he sings “I wear the scars, I earned them so hard, every day in a lucky country” in A Bastard Like Me (For Charlie Perkins). Kelly is perennially simpatico with the plight of our indigenous people, past, present and emerging.
With the One I Love frames Kelly as a man on a mission, leaving behind “my darling ones” to pursue his gut feeling. He uses a wonderful, told-youso guitar line and “Ooh hoos”.
Little Wolf is a Dirty Three horse story about a deserting lupin, fleeing on a violin.
Kate Miller-Heidke appears
on Bound To Follow (Aisling Song) and she too joins Kelly on the bit, racing ahead of her muse to produce her best track work in years. The organ is all over Bound To Follow and frequently adds hues to Nature.
God’s Grandeur is an attempt by Kelly to scrunch as many words into a chorus without it sounding like Wordy Rappinghood. It only starts being effective when female vocals enter and round out the painting. Best left off the record. Of all of Kelly’s vices, his addiction to making songs is the one that gives him vitality.
VERDICT Another worthy LP for our certified Bob Dylan