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Though not as high profile as his work with The Church, singer/songwriter Steven Kilbey has another outlet for which he creates music that’s nearly as wonderful as that of his main band – his long-standing duo with composer and multi-instrumentalist Martin Kennedy. It’s a simple arrangement: Kennedy, also the majordomo behind the instrumental act All India Radio, writes and performs the music and Kilbey writes and sings the lyrics. The duo’s sixth LP together, The Strange Case of Persephone Nimbus is their most ambitious yet. (Just look at the cover.) The concept album abandons earth (though not earthly concerns) altogether for a widescreen cosmic odyssey that sounds like the duo’s Pink Floyd and space rock records have been getting a lot of play in the past few years. As with so many concept records, the storyline and themes remain elusive, and given Kilbey’s disaffection for straight talk in his lyrics anyway, that’s of a piece with the creative vision. But, as all good conceptual artists know, it’s all about the songs anyway, and Strange Case has some great ones. “Goldmund and Narcissus,” “Jesus Warehouse and Judas Smith,” “When Time Has Run Out” and “Galaxy” boast strong melodies and a lush prog rock production style that draws us in immediately and keeps us there happily. Beautifully crafted and dedicated to its vision, The Strange Case of Persephone Nimbus should be irresistible to any rock fan with adventurous ears.
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