Mojo (UK)

Paul Kelly

Life Is Fine COOKING VINYL. CD/DL/LP

- Andy Fyfe

Australian national treasure’s 23rd album could be his best. Over a four-decade career Paul Kelly has written classic Aussie rock hits, reflective post-millennium acoustic albums, a classical cycle for the Australian National Academy of Music and an autobiogra­phy, How To Make Gravy. Life Is Fine brings him full circle to his heyday during the early ’90s, picking up the electric guitar for seemingly the first time in over decade and letting rip with a full backing band. Firewood And Candles, among others, recalls the guitar twang of Kelly’s late great Messengers sidekick Steve Connolly, but along with past echoes comes new shady depths in the likes of the regretful Letter In The Rain and Petrichor, stomping blues of My Man’s Got A Cold (with Vika Bull on lead vocals) and I Smell Trouble’s New Orleans swampiness. It’s a long time since Kelly drank at this well, and Life Is Fine is a deep, deep draft.

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