CD REVIEW: Robin Kelly - Shimmer
By Cyrus Rhodes
Genre: Acoustic. Folk-Rock
Sounds Like: Don McLean, Neil Young, John Lennon
New Zealand singer/songwriter/guitarist Robin Kelly releases “Shimmer” in 2006. This is his 3rd release.
Logging in at just over 41 minutes the CD kicks things off with “No More Than Lovers Ever Know” a catchy upbeat piece that serves up steady rock beat, acoustic rhythm guitar, and hooky vocal accents from Kelly. Track 2 “The Lady Across the Way” is yet another impressive acoustic-based ballad serving up impressive Hammond Organ accents, and infectious vocals from Kelly. Track 3 “Running Wild” shifts gears a bit and dishes out an impressive into build, driving rhythm, passionate vocal building, and impressive solo guitar work. The music itself has a steady acoustic rock/folk vibe reminiscent of Don Mclean, Neil Young, and maybe a splash of John Denver. It fills the sonic space peacefully, and unobtrusively. The vocal style of Kelly goes down smooth, and is warm, inviting. It has a flair strikingly similar to John Lennon. His New Zealand, Australian accent is quite appealing, easy to listen to, and stands out in a very positive way. . Kelly also brings to the table a lot of musical variety from impressive harmonica, Hammond Organ, keyboard, horns, rockability style guitar, and piano accents all layered well within the music. As the CD slowly unfolds its obvious Robin Kelly is an accomplished singer/songwriter. "Shimmer" delivers 12 songs that are extremely well crafted and consistent. From upbeat folk melodies like “Bridal Bed”, “By Your Side” and “Time We Were Friends”, to the catchy Caribbean style ballad “I’m not Slipping Away” to easy going “Lucky Man.” It’s fair to say there’s something on this CD for just about everybody. Shimmer also delivers a few passionate ballads as well - “Somehow” and “Something I Said” Here we see the true brilliance of Kelly shine thorough. He showcases rich conventional wisdom, with pure honesty via his amazing songwriting virtuoso. My favorite song on "Shimmer" has got to be “Tears from "Wells Run Dry.” Here Robin Kelly hits it out of the park with a prefect blend of Caribbean style musicianship, amazing songwriting with catchy vocals and lyrical content. The CD ends with Track 12 “Watching Life (Passing You Buy)" It’s the perfect finale piece! From start to finish “Shimmer” showcases 12 amazing songs that will uplift your spirit, and transcend your soul.
After spending 41 minutes alone with “Shimmer” I abandoned all hopes of finding any legitimate weaknesses to make note of. “Shimmer” is an impressive musical production from start to finish. Robin Kelly is a world class singer, songwriter. There’s not a weak song on this entire catalogue period! The musicianship is first rate, the songs ere short and sweet musical experiences, the mix and master are professional grade. Each song possesses a unique personality, flair, and signature groove to call their own. Lastly - the singing abilities of Robin Kelly is infectious, and will suck you in mind, body, and soul. Having released 4 CD’s now, New Zealander Robin Kelly is proving to be a force to reckoned with, and continues to prove himself year after year with an impressive musical catalogue. I guess could go on and on all night about Robin Kelly, you simply have got to get your hands on some of his music and hear what I am talking about. You should start with “Shimmer” What else can - It’s pretty much amazing!
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