Kilbey Kennedy – Glow and Fade

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: Golden Robot Records
Distributor/label URL: http://goldenrobotrecords.com/     
Released: 2017
Buy Album [URL]: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Glow-Fade-Kilbey-Kennedy/dp/B06Y5V8D7K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1512568063&sr=8-1&keywords=kilbey+kennedy
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/kilbeykennedy

Band line-up:

Steve Kilbey and Martin Kennedy

Tracklisting:

1. Glow And Fade
2. The Game Never Changes
3. They Know
4. We Are Still Waiting
5. The Law of the Jungle
6. Levitate
7. The Story of Jonah
8. One Is All

Review:

After a decade of collaboration, Steve Kilbey and Martin Kennedy of ‘Kilbey Kennedy’ have just released their fifth album, ‘Glow And Fade’, through Golden Robot Records. Mr. Kilby is a singer, songwriter, bassist, painter, writer, poet, actor and a sage, and is among Australia’s most loved artists. Mr. Kennedy on the other hand, has written music that can be heard in CSI: Miami, Emmerdale and much more. He and his own band, All India Radio have released ten albums since 1999, all of them acclaimed. Kllbey claims that Kilbey Kennedy’s songs are about naivete and crushing cynicism, (the) nature of time, (the) time of nature, the struggle and the defeat, (and) love in all its old disguises.’ He adds that his music ‘really is quite a journey.’

Is it a journey, though? Maybe a kind of peaceful boat journey, but perhaps not so much a memorable one. No dolphins or whales are ever seen, so to speak. Certainly no sharks. Whilst the rich harmonies the keyboards and orchestras create stand out as beautiful and soothing, the vocal melodies are largely unadventurous and bland. On the plus side, when the female singer is added to the main, male vocals and providing further harmony, the overall beauty is accentuated. However, it would be nice if there was more counterpoint between the two performers, for the sake of variety. Going on a downer again, the guitar solo that is heard in ‘The Game Never Changes’ is like David Gilmour on a day when he’s feeling very uninspired. It’s not bad, but it is kind of dull. Everything here can be described as ‘Pink Floyd-lite.’

Without listening to the lyrics, it’s not clear that this music is about naivete and cynicism, as all the songs sound similar. It’s not difficult to appreciate the themes of love, as much of the sounds are mushy, but love in all its old disguises? Not so much. It’s fitting that Kennedy’s music has featured in soap operas, as this album can be played at almost any point, and the listener wouldn’t really have missed anything too vital. He can just sit back and relax or put it on as background music. This music can also be compared to water. It’s hard to imagine anyone not liking this unoffencive music, but it lacks the spice and flavour of wider intervalic leaps. So many ideas travel up and down the scales in basic small jumps or steps, and these scales are very traditional.

However, having trouble getting to sleep? This album is most definitely for you, as it is almost completely devoid of any harshness or tension. That’s not a criticism, just a description of its highly desirable vibe. Admirably, everything here is very musical. It’s not an easy skill to write chord progressions that are smooth, flowing and natural sounding, as opposed to strange. The way all instruments interact with each other is very tasteful and well thought out, and not a single dodgy note can be found. Structurally, there are some flaws, as some of the song endings are rather unexpected and almost bordering on sudden, but all in all, there are many people out there who will love this album, I’m sure.

Review by Simon Wiedemann

 

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