Tue. May 28th, 2024

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Album Review: Kelly Jones – Inevitable Incredible

2 min read

Kelly Jones is well known to most, but maybe not by name. As frontman of the legendary Welsh rock band Stereophonics he has commanded the stage for over three-decades with his brilliant guitar playing and instantly recognisable voice. While the band are by no means slowing down, their last release Oochya! coming just two years ago, Kelly has seen fit to step away from the rockstar persona and treat fans to a more laid-back, considered set of songs.

Grandiose piano and ocean waves open title track Inevitable Incredible, Kelly’s throaty growl introducing itself with the a fantastic opening line; ‘I see you in my mind’s eye; will you hold me hostage until I die?’ It sets the scene for what proves to be a more relaxed and thoughtful affair than fans of Stereophonics have come to expect. The string arrangements, also introduced perfectly on the opener, are lush and forlorn, almost filmic in nature. Turn Bad Into Good follows a similar progression but features percussive elements keeping time in the background and glitchy synth pads. Time’s Running Away is a straight-up piano ballad, featuring minimal accompaniment that only helps to elevate Kelly’s gorgeous melody. 

Echowrecked brings the tempo up considerably with a driving beat and a more upbeat percussive section overall. It feels like a collage of sounds fitting around the piano and vocal base, giving way to those impressive orchestral passages. Sometimes You Fly Like The Wind is another subtle piano ballad, while Monsters In The House takes things to another emotional level. You can really feel the yearning that he or the protagonist in the song’s story is conveying, and it makes for a late album highlight. May I Come Home From My War falls in a similar vein. It’s simple but heartfelt and almost ties into the last song thematically. Closing track The Beast Will Be What The Beast Will Be is sung in a way that makes it feel like a folk song, a tender and world-weary tune to conclude such a reflective  record. 

It’s amazing to see a more stripped-back side to Kelly Jones’ songwriting. Sometimes it is easy to forget how great a lyricist Kelly Jones is, especially when backed by the full force of the Stereophonics. Inevitable Incredible is an album that will transport you to a cosy fireside, enveloping you like your favourite blanket, but like most great stories there is a sadness beneath each beautiful arrangement that draws you deeper in. This is a fantastic departure for Kelly.