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  Listen Up! 2/6/04 Listen Up!

Friday, Feb. 6

Paul Kelly, “Ways & Means,” Cooking Vinyl Records. It’s been a good long time since I’ve heard anything from this excellent songwriter from Australia or New Zealand. (Yeah, I know I shouldn’t get them confused, but how many Americans know who’s from which country? It’s like the bit on Curb Your Enthusiasm the other night when Larry David couldn’t tell the difference between a Swede and a Norwegian.) Anyway, this is great stuff. The first disc is dynamic pop/rock, and the second more simple, basically acoustic songs. Kelly writes with a melodic flair, an ear for hooks, and he leaves room for his bandmates to pump things up with clever arrangements. The album kicks off with a powerful instrumental, and ends with a gentle one.

--Steve Pick


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