Coming of age album for music fans of a certain age
I’ve been a fan of Bap Kennedy’s music since the Power-Punk days of Energy Orchard in the late 1980’s and own every solo album he’s recorded and I can honestly say LET’S START AGAIN and THE SAILOR’S REVENGE are by far the best albums he’s ever made.
After touring and recording for nigh on 30 years Kennedy looked and sounded like he’d had enough with the music business; but the spark was re-kindled when he met and married the delectable Brenda and his new found joie de vivre comes across in not only his writing; but his singing too.
The title track LET’S START AGAIN is, perhaps the most obvious song on the album and sounds like a man who can’t believe his luck at finding ‘true love’ at this stage of his life. It has to be said that Brenda supplies some sublime harmonies too.
This is followed by Revelation Blues which is the closest he’s come to sounding like Energy Orchard in years; with John Fitzpatrick making his fiddle fizz as Gordy McAllister performs his usual magic on the guitar in the background.
King of Mexico has a soft mariachi beat; which sounded odd at first, but when you know the songwriter you know he has always had a fascination with this part of the world (check out Fools Paradise too) and it was only a matter of time before it ended up on record. It wouldn’t surprise me if the song eventually turned up on a Raul Malo album, by the way.
Two songs caught my attention on the first listening – Radio Waves; which absolutely nails the fascination many of us have with the Cosmos and features the finest Sha La La La Lees that didn’t come out of Motown! The other is the Countrified Let It Go which neatly ends the album in a way, only a man ‘at one with himself’ could write or sing.
From start to finish there is an air of mischief and romance threading their way through every song as Bap and his band jump from musical style to style, without anything ever sounding out of place.
Bap hasn’t managed to better THE SAILORS REVENGE; which I described as his Masterpiece, but he has managed to match it in every detail and nuance which is a stroke of genius.
Released Feb 2014