Pat Kelly – Now And Then

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Album Review by EDF

As singer-songwriters go, for a little while there might have seemed to have been a lack of them up until recently. Even though the likes of Blunt and Gray seemed to have put the lone balladeer back on the commercial map, the independent scene has been flourishing with solo artists over the last few years. Now that you can record a whole album in your bedroom and release it via your own website, the quality of these releases has been unexpectedly high. Here is another one man and his guitar artist by the name of Pat Kelly who somehow captures all the good bits from past solo artists.

Irishman Pat Kelly started his trade by busking in all sorts of weather around Ireland. He finally moved over to Germany where he recorded and produced his first solo album, the acoustic NOW AND THEN. The opening track ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT begins with a click track and Pat’s acapella delivery bravely carries the song onto the second verse where he is joined by an acoustic guitar. This brave attempt is followed by SECRETS, which is about those who like to gossip about others. The song is held back by Pat’s vocals when he should be expressing more when singing lyrics like “you scream and shout and let it out”.

The reflective EVERY NOW AND THEN paints a picture of how Pat life has got to at that point in time. ONLY TIME WILL TELL sounds like a confession where Pat realises that everybody’s “lives come undone, and me, I’m no better“. Elsewhere on this mostly enjoyable debut album, we are treated to the Jeff Lynne homage CATCH A STAR and the over sentimental WAITING. The final song on the album, QUARTER PAST ONE is an end of the night song where a bunch of friends eventually move on “to the 5am bars”. This neatly ties into the first song on the album that had earlier announced that it was “5am – time to sleep”.

This album sounds very intimate thanks to the acoustic settings of these songs. Pat has no problem with lyrics even though a couple of songs do get a bit slushy. Obviously Pat writes from experience and it is those songs that show off his strengths as a songwriter. At times his vocals come over all apologetic and which influences his performance of certain songs. Saying that, you do get a feeling that over time, Pat will grow more confident and comfortable with his own compositions. For now, this is a good start.

4 stars