Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Paul Kelly

  • Greatest Hits: Songs From the South; Volumes 1 & 2 [Capitol, 2008] B+

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Greatest Hits: Songs From the South; Volumes 1 & 2 [Capitol, 2008]
Fifteen quite terrific songs out of 40 don't add up to a full rave for a straight-ahead folk-rocker's 40-track import-only double-CD. But they damn well should have broken him out of Australia. Always clear and concise, he can tell a story, and sings plain broad Aussie with barely a hint of blather. Please try to hear, in descending order: "Everything's Turning to White," "Bradman," "To Her Door," "Every F---ing City," "Sweet Guy," "From Little Things Big Things Grow," "How to Make Gravy," "They Thought I Was Asleep," "When First I Met Your Ma," "Deeper Water," "Dumb Things," "Song of the Old Rake," "Be Careful What You Pray For," "Shane Warne," and "The Oldest Story in the Book." B+

Further Notes:

Distinctions Not Cost-Effective [1970s]: One great song--"Stealin' in the Name of the Lord"--was good for a decade's worth of rep. And the song wasn't all that great.