Full disclosure. I have to start by saying that Steve Kilbey can almost do no wrong in my eyes. He wrote “Unguarded Moment,” he wrote “Under The Milky Way” and even if I found out that he was mean to puppies or was a close friend of The Kardashians I would still be okay with everything. Well, perhaps not the second one.
As the title suggests Eleven Women album is a series of character sketches each as musically distinct as the portrait being sonically drawng and each laced with Kilbey’s trademark sleight of hand. Josephine is a Celtic, pub lock-in, sing-along both celebratory and dismissive regarding its central character. Lillan In Cerulean Blue is slightly hazy and disarmingly off-kilter, Queen of Spades is a brilliant pop-rock hybrid and Think of You a charming and chiming folk ballad but one which sparkles around the edges with wistful romance, love and reflection.
Whether leading a band or playing in a more secluded, solo fashion, Eleven Women is evidence that Steve Kilbey still has plenty of songs left in him and, even on such an understated album as this, uses them to explore all manner of new, different and occasionally unexpected sonic territory. Sitting on laurels and bathing in past glory is certainly not in his repertoire.