The new release from Kelly Padrick is nearly flawless. The songs are generally vibrant and potent. The style varies enough from one song to another to keep it from ever feeling overly tired or redundant. Yet, it all has a sound and tone that binds it together. There is really a flow throughout, making it feel like one consistent ride start to finish.
The opening “Come with Me” really feels like the kind of pop rock that was common in the late 1960s. With an effective retro sound and good energy, the piece is a lot of fun. “Do You Remember” stands in sharp contrast to that opening song. Where it was simple and playful, “Do You Remember” is dark and serious. It’s very much a complex psychedelic rocker. It’s slower and yet still has plenty of power.
“Consciousness” is even more trippy and psychedelic. It’s another powerful song, but some bits at the start feel just a little awkward at times. Also, it is a bit too similar to the song that preceded it. “Don’t You Love” still has a bit of that psychedelic element, but perhaps closer to something like Mazzy Star. It also has hints of country. It’s closer to the carefree sound of the first song, though.
There is a piano basis to the mellower parts of “I Do.” The song is symphonic in some ways, but has a real psychedelic meets prog edge to it. Somehow it feels tastefully twisted and dark. Yet, it’s also so pretty and atmospheric. It’s a unique and very unusual song. It’s also one of the highlights of the set.
“No Such Thing” has some definite world music built into it. It’s another dramatic and powerful piece. It’s also another that’s particularly unusual. The thing is, it’s also captivating and another standout. A classy groove drives “Some Other Man.” While it has some of the same moody modern sounds as much of the rest here, it also is very much an old school jazz number.
There are some hints of The Beatles on “World of Hurt.” It’s a mid-tempo piece that’s catchy and quite effective. There is definitely some psychedelia built into the tune, too. It’s another great song on a disc with no shortage of them.
“A Long Way” is essentially a folk song. It has quite a bit of that same moody edge as the rest of the album, though. It’s a nice bit of variety and a classy tune. The title track closes the album. Along with the opener, it’s one of the two most mainstream cuts here. It’s also very strong. It lends a bit of a bookend quality and really finishes things nicely.
This is, in many ways, high art. Yet, high art has never grooved so well or evoked so much feeling. It’s edgy music, yet it’s also catchy. There is a definite retro vibe to a lot of it. Still, the overall feeling is modern and fresh.
This album barely misses the mark at all. On the rare occasion where it does, it’s only by a tiny fraction. This is the kind of thing that should manage to appeal to those who like pop music, but at the same time impress those who want more substance and art built into their sound choices. It exists at the intersection between those two concepts. That’s rare. It’s one of the things that make this so exceptional. It’s a safe bet that this album will really please a wide range of music fans. It manages to do that in a way that is unlikely to “turn off” all but the most difficult music snobs. Besides, as with all things in life, no music will please everyone. This probably will come very close.
Artist: Kelly Padrick
Title: It’s Only Me
Produced by: Nancy Hess
Review by G. W. Hill
Rating: 4 and 1/2 (out of 5)