Release date: 2nd October 2012
We were lucky enough to catch Norman Kelsey live at Liverpool’s IPO Festival, when he played with just an acoustic guitar. He was certainly different from the Power Pop you expect at this fixture in our calendar, but he did a great job in keeping the crowd’s attention with the songs he played.
The first song on this new album,” So Sophisticated”, opens with a Robert Cray style bluesy riff played by the producer, Adam Marsland, before the horns take you on a funk trip. The title “So Sophisticated” sets the tone for the album, because that’s just what the album is. A sophisticated and well-structured slice of soul, funk and lush vocals throughout.
The title track tips the hat to an obvious appreciation of Prince, which is evident elsewhere on the album. This is no bad thing, especially since Norman has a really warm and soulful falsetto that’s difficult to tire of.
“Our Love Is Known By Name” opens with a stunning Bee Gees at their best type harmony…and then gets better! Having Evie Sands helping out on vocals guarantees greatness of course.
There’s a lot going on lyrically too, none more so than in “Supermodels With Gatling Guns,” which manages name-check R2D2 and Stella McCartney!
“Airport Kisses” is a real heartbreaker that captures perfectly the sadness of someone who travels from home a lot and misses the love that's been left behind.
Throughout this album great credit has to go to Adam Marsland for his outstanding production work and musical contributions. He’s done an amazing job, and he should be very proud of the result.
The bottom line though, is that Norman Kelsey’s great songs can stand strong with just his voice and that little acoustic guitar, as witnessed in Liverpool earlier this year.
This is an outstanding album from a truly sophisticated vocalist.