JEFF KELLY - For The Swan In The Hallway (2004)

This is Jeff Kelly's second solo album in recent months, and on first hearing it does seem to pale in the shadow of its predecessor, 2003's 'Indiscretion'. However, as so often happens with some albums they are slow burners, and do not hit you straight away. Instead they creep up on you and you suddenly realise just how good they are. This one is a case in point, as the first thing that I missed about it was the lack of his trademark guitar-work, and yet after five or six hearings I find that it does work very well without the guitar histrionics. Although a true solo album - with Kelly writing, playing, and producing all the songs - he still manages to deliver a full band sound, especially on opener 'Kissing Alma Mahler' with its heavy riffing guitar coupled with a restrained solo. 'The Swan On The Hill' makes good use of farfisa organ, giving it a swirling 60's garage sound, while the triumvirate of 'Oxford Street', 'The Lock', and 'Afterimage' are three of those hard-edged ballads at which Kelly excels. 'The Depth Of My Desire' is almost commercial enough to try as a single, but I know that it would die a death as no-one in this country sems to be interested in this sort of classic rock music, so Kelly and his band will remain a treasured secret for those few of us in the know. Why not join us?

First published in Feedback #80 July 2004