In­die rock

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - So­phie Ben­jamin

All Your De­vo­tion Kav Tem­per­ley In­er­tia A few years ago, Eskimo Joe front­man Kav Tem­per­ley was look­ing down the bar­rel of a midlife cri­sis. His ARIA award-win­ning pop/rock band was on hia­tus af­ter more than 15 years to­gether, his mar­riage had fallen apart and his 40th birth­day was loom­ing. This un­ex­pected pe­riod of soli­tude and re­flec­tion — and, later, a new ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship — pro­vided the im­pe­tus for All Your De­vo­tion, Tem­per­ley’s first solo al­bum. There are plenty of easy com­par­isons to be made be­tween this work and Eskimo Joe’s 2004 al­bum A Song is a City. Both were lyri­cally in­spired by Tem­per­ley’s day-to- day life in Fre­man­tle, and both have the kind of song struc­tures, jan­gly oc­taved pi­ano lines and in­stru­men­tal ar­range­ments that fel­low singer­bassist Paul McCart­ney would be pleased with.

But if A Song is a City was a di­ary, All Your De­vo­tion is a love let­ter. That’s not to say it’s a col­lec­tion of love songs; lead sin­gle Pollyanna sees Tem­per­ley try­ing to cheer him­self up about his change in cir­cum­stances, and Christ­mas Lights is an un­ex­pect­edly charm­ing song about driv­ing around the sub­urbs in De­cem­ber. Of course there are love songs on here, and even a slow jam where Tem­per­ley croons over silky basslines and synths that wouldn’t sound out of place on an al­bum by fel­low West Aussies Tame Im­pala. Tem­per­ley is a master­ful song­writer and this is a worth­while ad­di­tion to his cat­a­logue of work. More im­por­tantly, it serves as a re­minder of the power of authen­tic­ity in life and mu­sic, and of the need to make truly last­ing con­nec­tions with your fel­low hu­mans.

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