Bright Star Recordings - 2000 - 28 minutes

For some time now, Dubliner Alan Kelly has been tucked away, mapping out paths to redemption and sharing them on singles as The Last Post. After what seems like a lifetime of Saturday nights comes the debut album. Part country, part Cocteaus, all charm, it's the perfect lift off to love and the finest collection in quite a few heartaches. In 28 minutes Kelly and friends feel their way through lessons and affairs, but never lose sound of the pop allure or the melodies in the meloncholy.

'It Shouldn't Still Hurt (But It Does)' is a wallflower anthem, with slide and Spanish guitars and mandolins; 'You've Got A Hold On Me' a cute cavalry on a march of hope; and 'A Light To Live By' the sweet, short affirmation that things will work out. 'What is there to say, when there's nothing more to say?' he sings on opener 'Until The Heart Gives Way'. He's right - after hearing this, words fail.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Until The Heart Gives Way – You're All I've Got Left In This World - Silence Seems To Say - The Serpentine Line - I Believe - ...And Then You Come Along - It Shouldn't Still Hurt (But It Does) - The Guiding Light - When I Think I Just Can't Start Over - A Light To Live By - You've Got A Hold On Me.