Hot on the heels of cousins James and Ian Skelly's now defunct project The Coral, Neville Skelly releases his new solo album 'Carousel' through The Coral's Skeleton Key records. Recorded in a friend's house, this album offers the listener a plethora of melodic, dreamy and upbeat gems, all with simple production. It's a record apparently influenced by his daughter, a fact which can be detected through subtle hints throughout the album especially in 'Catherine's Song' and 'Before She Was Gone'. With a voice not too dissimilar from Van Morrison and with an air of Nick Drake, it's an album that is well worth a listen.
Opening track 'Carousel' lyrically evokes Bob Dylan's 'Forever Young', and has simple, delicate melodies with that Nick Drake tone being at its most prominent. 'Falling Leaves', although similar in some ways to 'Carousel', treads markedly further along that folk route while 'White Roses' shows a change of tempo and an eerie, somewhat chilling vibe that would not be out of place on one of The Coral's early albums. Another strong Coral influence is heard on 'Silence In The Sand' and, although it's never a bad thing to have that kind of inspiration, the distinctly positive beat is a welcome relief. 'Love You Gave' and 'Walking In The Shadows' give the album a bit of a country makeover as the album progresses with the subtle slide guitar intro and a slight feeling of Wichita Lineman about it.
'Catherine's Songs' and 'Before She Was Gone' are simple yet captivating acoustic songs; not overly produced and with tender lyrics which, as we've mentioned, could only really be about Neville's daughter.
'Carousel' has such a pure sense of simplicity due to the minimal production methods that have gone into it. Thus, it's a perfect showcase of Neville's genuine talent and leaves the listener feeling more than satisfied.
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