[reviewed by / autor recenzji: Peter Marks || ENG]
A quiet evening down watching the waves, the sun slowly sinking in the West while you delicately sip your drink. This third album from Steve Kilbey (don’t make me have to explain what band he’s best known for fronting) and All India Radio’s Martin Kennedy expands beautifully on the promise of 2011’s “White Magic”. Kennedy’s music is defined by his choices of singular notes to flesh out these bewilderingly regal compositions. Take the opening song, “I Wouldn’t Know”, as example of this methodology. It drifts along languidly propelled by achingly sad guitar work, the tempo shifts and swirls throughout it like the frothing sea it is no doubt meant to depict.
It’s rumored that this one is the last these two plan on doing, but I don’t believe it. These songs find Kilbey singing much more openly than what I’ve heard out of him before. There has always been a coolly aloof way he wends his words into what he’s doing, but on “You Are Everything” he pulls back the personae and delivers quite a few wrenching performances. The title track is a fine display of it, he’s putting it all out there and yet still knocking out couplets which state ‘the joke is over/the judge is sober’. And just like that swan who flew into the sun (his appreciation of mythology never lets up), Kilbey and Kennedy deliver an album which really feels handcrafted.
In this pitiless city, I’m the joke…
They sneak their works out with little advance notice, I only managed to find out about this one by religiously (oh stop snickering) checking Kilbey’s blog The Time Being. You almost get the feeling that they don’t care who, if anyone, listens to what they’ve done. And just to sweeten the pot, Steve’s got a new solo album out as well called “The Idyllist”. The man never stops. Neither does “You Are Everything”, from lush ballads to bittersweet remembrances and then on to introspective meditations, this is not for those who want it catchy and easily defined.
Ever since he put out his solo album “Painkiller”, this literary fount has been doing some of the best work of his career. And no one’s paying attention. Some things never change.
I only wish I’d be able to see these guys live at some point, but naturally I’m on the wrong continent for that. But take my word for it, this one is a grower, by the time you get to “I Find” you’ll have made your choice. Either it will play out or you’ll never finish listening. It is a unique world which Kennedy and Kilbey have created, we now have three episodes of it… oh, there’s a DVD of them live and most maddeningly of all there is a 2CD version of this album that continues to tempt me. So what you’re reading here is only pertinent to the first eleven songs, there is more. So much more.
Steve Kilbey & Martin Kennedy – You Are Everything
2xCD Limited Edition, CD, Digital Release, 2013
Great review…love your point that ‘some things never change.’
Thanks for reading. It’s hard to believe how much quality material is coming out of this guy these days; it is not Under the Milky Way, however, so people tune it out. He just gets better and better as time goes on. Along with Stephen Duffy, I’d say he’s the best songwriter out there.
Yeah…I put him up there with George Harrison, Jeff Buckley, Leonard Cohen and Dylan for lyrics and complex melodies.