Paul Kelly continues to expand his eclectic discography with another collaborative gem with classical pianist Paul Grabowsky.
Kelly has made the most of the 2010s with an ever-expanding series of brilliant ventures into wholly unique projects that are unparalleled for both an artist of his stature and the sheer variety in collaboration. Most would refer immediately to 2017's 'Life Is Fine', which sees the man relive and revise his iconic past glories to the sound of 'Under the Sun' or 'Gossip'.
But as time passes, Kelly seems more interested in pursuing beautiful subtly in collaboration and introspection. From his two criminally underrated masterworks with James Ledger 'Conversations with Ghosts' (2013) and 'Thirteen Ways to Look at Birds' (2019), to his quarantine poetry effort, 'Forty Days' (2020) and back to his Shakespeare tribute marking the 400th anniversary of his death, 'Seven Sonnets and a Song' (2016).
But again, the power of these new instalments lies in collaboration. This theme of quiet reflection is first heard in his funeral songs retrospective with Charlie Owens, 'Death's Dateless Night' (2016) and the aforementioned James Ledger works (essential listening). This brings us to by far one of the best albums of last year that flew under our radar until the tour announcement earlier this year.
The devastating closer, 'If I Could Start Today Again' rings long after the final notes with the remorse brought to an even greater regret, which is enhanced with the swapping of Kelly's plucked acoustics with Grabowsky’s piano. 'Every Time We Say Goodbye', 'You Can Put Your Shoes Under My Bed' and the title shows a romantic edge often overlooked from Kelly, as it bears his sensitive side with more passion than the best of them.
It's hard to sing higher praises of Kelly from this record alone, let alone his extremely rewarding and varied new catalogue. It is viscerally inspiring to see an artist challenge themselves via pursuing passion projects to their fullest extent, and Kelly is a clear master at this.
'Please Leave Your Light On' available in the Store now
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