Mess+Noise album review: Paul Kelly – ‘Spring and Fall’, November 2012

An album review for Mess+Noise. Excerpt below.

You suspect it takes a lot to surprise Kerry O’Brien, but it clearly registered in his voice when in November of 2010 Paul Kelly told the veteran television reporter and host of The 7:30 Report that he hadn’t written a song in over two years. “Wow,” O’Brien exclaimed. “Are you starting to feel hungry to get into it again?” Kelly responded: “If you’d asked me two years ago … I would say, ‘Oh, I’d be feeling pretty antsy about that.’ Because I’ll feel useless if I’m not writing.” The implication was that he wasn’t all that bothered, and when O’Brien picked him up on it, Kelly concluded that he’d be happy to “just sit for a while.”

Having Australian singer-songwriter royalty talk about sidelining his craft was enough to give local music fans conniptions. But there was context: Kelly had just come off the back of penning his autobiography, How to Make Gravy, for most of that process substituting one type of writing for another. And if there was a sense of exhaustion surrounding Paul Kelly, it was understandable: since 1998 he’d released no less than eight studio albums and been involved in numerous feature film scores. In that respect, perhaps a break was needed.

The release of Spring and Fall adds another two years onto Kelly’s 7:30 Report interview and makes it five since his last album, Stolen Apples. It seems like an eternity, both for Paul Kelly and in the digital age. And it raises the question: how do you return from such an extended break?

For the full review, visit Mess+Noise.

Leave a Reply