Personnel: Paul Kelly (vocals, harmonica); Steve Connolly (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Peter Bull (accordion, keyboards); Michael Barclay (drums, percussion); Ray Pereira (percussion).
Recording information: Trafalgar Studio, Sydney (1990-1991).
Photographer: Stuart Spence.
On Comedy, a more personal side to Paul Kelly creeps in under the anecdotal door, as themes of romance, regret, and adulthood stem from the 18 tracks laid out here. Kelly's ability to express his emotions in a mature fashion, with superb accompaniment from backup band the Messengers, gives each musical yarn a genuine feel. Each song is either about a certain situation or a past event, usually involving Kelly as the protagonist. Whether they're fiction or not doesn't seem to matter, since his lyrical storytelling whisks the listener away and drops them dead center into the middle of his spiels. Examples of Kelly's best work on this album include "I Can't Believe We Were Married," a tune about a marriage that fell apart where both parties were relieved, and "Sydney from a 747," centered around the theme of spontaneity and how nice it would be to just pick up and leave. The jewel in the crown has to be "From Little Things Big Things Grow," a true story about aborigines refusing to give up their land to a rich businessman, proving that taking a stand can eventually pay off. Musically, there's a folk-filled tinge to each song, but the occasional quickened pace balances out these tunes rather nicely. The songs easily hold interest, and Kelly's simple yet attractive voice carries fairly well. A good sampling of his style can be investigated throughout Comedy's entirety. ~ Mike DeGagne