Paul Kelly's new album


Paul Kelly and the Messengers
Mushroom Records
Reviewed by Col Hesse

"From Little Things Big Things Grow" is the song on Paul Kelly's new album which really grabs you. Written by Kelly and Kev Carmody, it's about "the Gurindji stockmen and their families who walked off Lord Vestey's cattle station in 1966, thus initiating a land claim struggle which lasted eight years".

It's more than just a great lyric. Backed with a Dylan country sound and a powerful musical reprise as the band takes over, with Ernie Dingo's didgeridoo tearing through, there is a unity of purpose and anger in the music.

The remaining 17 songs on this album won't surprise those familiar with Kelly's material. The first single, "Don't Start Me Talking", is typical Kelly. You're singing along with the chorus half way through the song, as though it's an old favorite.

From the warm reminiscence of songs such as "Wintercoat", to the still hurting lyrics of "I Can't Believe We Were Married", the humanity of Kelly's words always touches.

Musically there is not a lot of difference between this album and his last few records, although it may be a little more countrified.

The comedy of the album title comes on the last track, "There's only one David Gower".