h

Paul Kelly : Life Is Fine

8.5

Life Is Fine finds Paul Kelly in classic mode; unlike many of his recent releases, this album is a collection of mostly new songs performed with his crack hot live band, without having to conform to any theme other than that.
 
The press notes that accompany the review copy describes one of the songs as being ‘reminiscent of his greatest ‘80s recordings’, and the low down guitar of rocker Rock Out On The Sea does indeed bring to mind the work of Steve Connolly. However, in truth the full band arrangements that come replete with atmospheric organs, female backing vocals and subtle guitar melodies that snake around the vocal line with just a touch of twang are more reminiscent of his recent band albums Stolen Apples and Ways and Means. This is most definitely a good thing, as while Kelly has never sounded unsure of himself by any means, he has certainly matured into his own abilities comfortably, knowing how to use what makes his singing and writing unique, to his advantage.
 
This is a strong collection of mostly upbeat rock/pop songs by a giant in the field; fans will find a lot to love here.