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Kev Minney – “Stories Of The Sky” Review

Spacious, calming and full of little surprises
Kev Minney
Kev Minney

Kev Minney’s acoustic pop rock melodies are infectious. It’s a crowded genre, so you need to be able to stand out from the crowd and Kev does that for me by playing to his strengths of his clean, lilting voice and adding that lilt to his music wherever possible. It creates a reflective and contemplative sound that makes his music shine.

Nowhere is it showcased better than on opener “Chaos in the Sky” which has a strong chorus, hooks, melodies and a through point of Kev’s voice that has a “I’m knackered of all your crap, but I’m chipping away” feel to it. The interplay between percussion, guitar, string and synth really makes things feel dynamic and flowing and it’s a strong album opener. “Like I Always” is more acoustic pop and lets Minney’s voice caress you in the choruses and the guitar flex in the verses. The electro percussion seems a bit at odds with the breezy rendition of everything else, but its a catchy one that you’ll find on repeat without knowing. “Just Another Day” is an acoustic guitar and string clad track that lets the guitar take centre stage again with its rolling melodies. The floaty nature of the track makes the open choruses and codas really take off as the lyrics take a more sinister tone that belies the mood of the track. “Dark Stars” continues that spacious feel, and indeed there’s plenty of sky, star and space references throughout the album.  What makes this track work is its ability to give each instrument its own time in the spotlight – be it the guitar, the cello, the warm brushed drums, or the chorus of vocalists – it just gives a warm glow to every part of the track.

Giving things a bit more of a beat “Time” is like a country pop rock dance number – but not really any of those things at all! It’s country guitar twang is distorted and detuned whilst the dancey beat and piano go for a jazzy play fight behind the scenes. I’m not normally one for country tinged music, but this is great. Switching from country to folk “Can You Feel It Too” also plays with detuning instruments as the second half of the track see’s the cello want to ward in a horror shimmer over the downcast track, but the genius is that the other instruments very slightly follow suit. The clue is in the title – you feel the impending dread, no matter how calm Kev’s voice is – its a clever piece.

More standard “Fairy Tales and Chains” is a sweet folk ballad, “Gravity” is an acoustic pop piece that is chilled out but perhaps could do with a bigger lift to raise it higher, “Chances” is a lovely quiet piano and guitar ballad before “Stardust” gets the lift right that Gravity doesn’t quite give with some interesting organ and synth effects to give off a weird morse code finale.

There’s a lot to really enjoy here in Kev Minney’s album. It’s got a lot of heart in it, and that bursts you over some of the off-key moments that pop up across a tightly produced album. It kind of reminds you that Minney is rocking out, even when its a ballad and if you take the chance to go with him, you’ll be in for a treat.

Recommended Track : Chaos in the Sky

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