Set­tling down is not in his na­ture

Herald Sun - Hit - - MUSIC - with MIKEY CAHILL


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

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