Kelley Stoltz - Que Aura - - Soundblab

Kelley Stoltz - Que Aura

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:8 Release Date:2017-08-11


Kelley Stoltz is obviously a chameleon dreamer. He has absorbed a vast array of music and then recycled it in his own way. Across his eight or nine efforts so far, including this new one Que Aura, he has been able to do so quite effortlessly, incorporating influences from artists as diverse as Brian Wilson, Fleetwood Mac and all the way to Captain Beefheart. But, it has always been high-quality pop that dominates, highlighted by his work with Echo and The Bunnymen, musical chameleons par excellence themselves. Not only did Stoltz recreate their seminal Crocodiles album track by track, he is currently their tour guitarist.

All of this experience shows up on this newest album albeit, this time adding a bit of the pop disco shine so well exemplified by Fleetwood Mac at their mid-seventies highpoint. If your ears would, by chance, catch the sounds of “Get Over,” the first question that could pop to your mind would be, “Where are Stevie Nicks or Christine McVie?” But then, would you step away in disgust, or rejoice at the high-quality pop Stoltz has come up with? Personally, I’d go with the latter.

If there is one thing that is really hard to create in modern music, it is to come up with something original, or even something that sounds fresh within the strict confines of a pop song. Amazingly, Stoltz is able to do exactly that. Try “Feather Falling,” from the disco synth sound that permeates most of this album, to crispy guitar licks, to subtle harmony vocals that close the track. Then you get “No Pepper for The Dustman,” and you fully realise why Echo and The Bunnymen have Stolz as their touring guitarist.

Usually, listening to musicians that have so many influences under their belt, you get a feeling of musical patchwork, and you are pushed to decide whether such a collage is a successful one or not. With Stoltz, however, something else is at work. You can hear and realise where all this came from, but each track has its own specific, natural flow, and stands on its own merit as an original piece of music.

Listening to Que Aura, all you have to do then is decide whether high-quality disco tinged pop is something that you would like to listen to or not. As is the case with Ti Amor, the recent Italo-disco creation from Phoenix, my answer is an absolute yes. Clearly, Kelley Stoltz has much more to offer than just his influences.

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