Kelley Stoltz – Double Exposure
There’s a certain magpie quality to the new Kelley Stoltz album. A hint of ‘Artificial Energy’ here. A whiff of the ‘Last of The Steam Powered Trains’ there. Doesn’t that song end just like ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’? Isn’t that the guitar break from ‘Eight Miles High’? There’s power pop, surfer pop, psychedelic pop. Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. And it’s great. Plus, there’s a nice structure to the album. The first four tracks are short, catchy, hook-filled nuggets. The two middle songs are longer, much longer. While the last four songs revisit the shorter format. It makes for a nice symmetry. But there’s a wheel within the wheel. The first four songs are punchy. No time wasted. The last four songs, though relatively brief, are more varied. They’re top-and-tailed by an acoustic-led song and then the slower-paced closer. For an album that has a sonic coherence, there’s more than enough variation to keep the interest alive. And then there are the two long songs in the middle. You might expect them to be slower, but no. They keep up the fast-paced tempo of the first four songs. ‘Inside My Head’ is based on a synthy drone, but over it there’s a great melody and it keeps on going and going for a full nine minutes. As for ‘Still Feel’, it’s built around a funky bass line. Just one of the many on the album. With swirling guitars coming in and out, including that ‘Eight Miles High’ lifting, it’s the stuff of pop dreams. Kelley Stoltz is a seasoned professional. His trade is learnt. Yet, maybe the move to the Third Man label has given him a new confidence. What was once a statement seems now a pleasure. More power to the magpie.