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Robin Kelly - Album Review: Shadowman

28 Aug 2023 // A review by Catherine Bullock

Based in Auckland, Robin Kelly has released a new album into the world, and it’s already available to listen to. Shadowman is Kelly’s 6th album, with his extensive discography going back to 1998. This album was initially released in 2022, but live performances and the New Zealand launch were prevented by COVID-19 restrictions at the time.

I thoroughly recommend this album, as it is a sweet exploration into traditional singer-songwriter folk. The stories told through the lyrics are obviously very personal stories to Kelly while also being about the human experience. The mixing of the guitars is incredibly enjoyable, the fingerpicking style of the instruments often hard panned into each ear, creating a very sonically diverse stereo space.

The titular song, Shadowman, is quite simplistic with a repeating idea of Shadowman following and loving you. Our Last Valentine and Behind A Veil are tracks where we hear the backing vocalist, Sonia Wilson, come in and sing vocals alongside Kelly. The songs both are very fitting for Wilson to join in on. Our Last Valentine is specifically about reminiscing at the end of a long-lasting love, whether that be through a transition period in that love, or truly at the end of it. Whereas Behind A Veil, with a female figure for Wilson to embody, is less about love, and tells the story of a girl at the altar.

A personal standout to me is the final track, Live Life Slow. It opens on a beautiful harmonica melody and closes the album with the theme of the entire record. “Live life slow… and let love flow.”


About Robin Kelly

Robin Kelly is an Auckland based singer-songwriter, writer, poet and doctor. He has produced 6 albums since 1998. His latest Shadowman was co-produced by Mike McCarthy at Manuka Studios, Orewa, and features Nigel Gavin, Sonia Wilson and Tracey Collins. It has received glowing reviews internationally. He also wrote and performed the musical In The Footsteps of the Forgotten at Auckland's Fringe Festival in February 2020.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Robin Kelly


Year: 2022
Type: Album

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