With one of the longest album titles of 2019 comes this offering from singer-songwriter Kelly Steward. We’re in the country-based music that never seems to get old, it’s comforting, homely and in the hands of Steward, a solid album that rarely puts a foot wrong. There is something rather nostalgic about Steward’s take on life, at times it feels like it’s looking back and then, at others, it feels bang up to date and we’re living her life through her eyes. The title is actually a clever way of summing up the songs, memories stay with us for a number of reasons, but they often boil down to two things; good or bad.
We can recall our favourite holiday or meal but you can be sure that following in the footsteps of that trip to Hawaii or fresh lobster salad are a week in rainy Wales and the under-cooked chicken thigh that meant you unwillingly made friends with your bathroom.
Kelly Steward is a fine songwriter and has given herself a good platform to perform her songs, think Emmylou Harris with the backing band of mid 90’s Sheryl Crow and you’ve got a bit of an idea what she brings to the table. Unshrinking and unafraid to tackle subjects of the life on the road, often letting personal relationships suffer, she takes it all in her stride and plays out like the musician that finds endless influence from looking outside her window.
I know it sounds all very deep, but songwriters are able to tap into the feelings of the individual listener and allow them to conjure up all kinds of thoughts and similarities.
It’s an album about letting go, trimming the fat, allowing the good influences to remain while dropping off the time wasters and bad decisions at the kerb and moving on, hopefully a little wiser.
The album takes a little while to get going, but that’s just the vibe of the album, it’s unrushed and unfussy, you buy your ticket and sit back while the songs go rattling by but it’s real power comes in listening to the album a couple of times. It has an allure all of its own that creeps under your skin until eventually you feel like you’re listening to your oldest friend.
Very impressive work.