Jeff Kelly: The Swan In The Hallway

Jeff Kelly’s latest release, The Swan In The Hallway, is a melancholy collection of songs, which manages somehow not to come off as sad or sappy. Kelly has managed to avoid the introvert-alterna-pop cliché of “Oh woe is me.” Instead he appears to wink knowingly at his situation. It seems like he is actually celibrating his isolation and finding odd little facets to being alone.

It took me a while to warm up to this release. I listened through once or twice and it didn’t seem to grab me. I stuck it in with a bunch of other music in iTunes and kind of forgot about it. Fortunately iTunes didn’t. Every time a song from this release would pop up, I would find myself humming along and checking iTunes to see who was playing. So I went back and grabbed the CD out of the stack and it’s been in my player for the last week.

Fans of Green Pajamas may miss the more noisy psychedelic sound of the full band, but the toned down arrangements lend themselves to Kelly’s voice. When he does finally kick up the intensity a bit on The Girls Of The Ford it seems more urgent because of the contrast. That contrast comes right back on the very next tune where Kelly drops things back down to a haunting piano tune called, The Depth Of My Desire.

This is a very good release from start to finish. I would definitely recommend it.

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