Paul Kelly NatureHave you noticed that movies are too long nowadays? Songs, too. Unless it’s a classic like Russell Morris’ The Real Thing, should any pop song be longer than three minutes? The masterful Paul Kelly knows that less is more.

Nature, his 24th studio album, is a dozen songs that total just 32:40 minutes, with only three tracks running for longer than three minutes.

These are simple stories with deceptive depth, including A Bastard Like Me, a powerful tribute to Aboriginal activist Charles Perkins. “I wear the scars,” Kelly sings. “I’ve earned them so hard.” Elsewhere he declares, “Pretty soon we’ll all be dust.” Perhaps, but Paul Kelly’s works will remain.

Nature is out October 12 via EMI/Gaddaggie.

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