Sunset Motel

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„Was die Verpackung ihrer Alben betrifft, sind meine Brüder schon etwas crazy“, sagte uns einmal Micky Braun. „Crazy“ ist nicht übertrieben, denn wie schon bei den Vorgängern „Long Night Moon“, „Good Luck And True Love“ und „Somewhere In Time“ hat das neue Album „Sunset Motel“ eine „crazy“ Verpackung, die sich erst langsam in voller Pracht erschließt. Wie bei den genannten Alben haben wieder die Schwestern Sarah und Shauna Dodds die Ideen von Willy und Cody Braun umgesetzt, und wenn alles mit rechten Dingen zugeht, dann sollten sie wie bereits für „Good Luck And True Love“ und „Long Night Moon“ für einen Grammy nominiert werden (für LNM hatten sie gar den Grammy gewonnen in der Rubrik „Best Album Package“). Es ist nicht das geprägte 6-Seiten-Digipak, es ist nicht der beiliegende Hotel-Schlüsselanhänger, es ist nicht das Posterbooklet mit wahnsinnigen Eintragungen in die US-Landkarte oder die vielen Gimmick-Werbeanzeigen, und es sind nicht die versteckten Zeichnungen, die erst beim Abdecken mit dem Schlüsselanhänger sichtbar werden - es ist das Gesamtwerk, das als Kunst bezeichnet werden muss und das ein Beleg dafür ist, dass ein physikalischer Tonträger nicht aussterben darf und nicht wird. Allerdings möchten wir gar nicht wissen, was das die Gebrüder gekostet haben mag…


While their previous outing, 2013’s Long Night Moon, had a gentle, quiet lean, Reckless Kelly balance the ballads with roots rockers on their latest, Sunset Motel, due September 23rd. Their ninth studio album finds the quintet – brothers Cody and Willy Braun, David Abeyta, Joe Miller and Jay Nazz - continuing to excel at creating music with their signature sound, centering around affecting songcraft, rousing and emotional melodies, and dynamic musicianship.

The collection, all penned by front man Willy Braun, opens with their current single, “How Can You Love Him (You Don’t Even Like Him)” and includes twelve additional tunes (with guest spots from The Mastersons, Bukka Allen and more) that are replete with themes of love, heartache, and questioning - as well as some social commentary.

The wistful feel of “Buckaroo” reflects on the demise of a relationship “It was finally the last time we reached the end of the road/and I know I could call you but I don’t know what I’d say/so I’ll just keep pretending that it's better this way;” while the propulsive “Give It Up” centers on a man finally realizing he needs to break-away from the one who keeps wasting his time, “I’ve wasted a thousand words/I’ve wasted a thousand smiles/ I’ve wasted a thousand hellos, but I’ll only be using up one goodbye” - a theme that continues in “Who’s Gonna Be Your Baby Now” where patience for another to commit has run thin and he's ready to move on, “Now I know that winning doesn’t always mean winning the race/’Cause I was on the bit and all out but you bet on another to place.”

The quintessential roots rocker, “Moment In The Sun,” with its retro harmonies, relates that all too familiar feeling of finding comfort for a moment and then somehow ending up lonelier than before; “The Champ” uses metaphors to deal with the age-old issue of who emerges victorious when there are disagreements in relationships (with maybe one giving in to keep the peace) and “Sad Songs About You” mixes anger, sorrow, false hope and self-examination,“And I don’t know why I write all these sad songs about you/’Cause I’ll have to sing ‘em somehow for the rest of my life…I don’t know why I write all these songs about you/Well I guess they just hurt a lot less than another goodbye.”

Reckless Kelly has always been adept at pairing melodies and lyrics such that a song’s emotional impact is often felt that much stronger; and while that’s found throughout the album, it’s particularly apparent on three tracks. The emotive harmonica alongside a subdued percussion evokes the melancholy on the thoughtful, complex “One More One Last Time,” “It’s hard to tell if this old uphill battle is winding down or just begun;” while on the title track, the overall serene tone conveys a human want for safety and comfort in another, fearing the destructive tendencies of loneliness. “So baby when the darkness tries to pull me back in/Keep me from going down that road again/Don’t turn me away, don’t leave me out in the cold/You know that I’ve only got one place to go/Just like the last time it won’t work out well/Don’t let me go back to the Sunset Motel;” and finally, on the achingly beautiful “Forever Today” where the longing to be with someone is immense and intense, “But I don’t wanna wait for another life to be with you/Our hearts are one but somehow they remain as two/ I’m a patient man but what if it don’t work that way/I wish you and me could start our own forever today.”

Never ones to avoid topical issues, RK nestle social commentary on two impassioned tracks, “Radio” and “Volcano 44.” The former opens with a scratchy tuning of the FM dial before diving into a driving melody and blunt lyrics about what it takes to be played on mainstream radio, “You’re underrated, but dedicated/You try to practice but you get so bored…Hey, I know I few tricks and we’ll fix it in the mix…It doesn’t take a lot of talent but no one will know;” while the latter puts the attention on the importance of not only recognizing, but taking action on climate change before “the ice all melts…we’re fish food.”

Before checking out, Sunset Motel returns to the romantic, closing with the elegant “Under Lucky Stars” which with its accompanying celestial melody finds you enveloped in a brilliantly lit sky where all that matters are the two people present, “Hold me close and breathe with me…Under the watch of Orion/Until the morning comes, to steal you.”

Over the past twenty years, Reckless Kelly has remained steadfast, staying true to themselves and the music, and in doing so, garnered a devoted fan following while earning recognition and respect….and that, undoubtedly, will ensure them at least twenty more.


Originally appeared in The Daily Country

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Girlie Shirt Reckless Kelly GS (XL) € 17.00 Info

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Sunset Motel
RECKLESS KELLY
Sunset Motel
CD
NBDL CD 4
€ 15.90



1. How Can You Love Him (You Don't Even Like Him)
2. Radio
3. Buckaroo
4. Sunset Motel
5. The Champ
6. One More One Last Time
7. Forever Today
8. Volcano
9. Give It Up
10. Who's Gonna Be Your Baby Now
11. Moment In The Sun
12. Sad Songs About You
13. Under Lucky Stars