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Reckless Kelly

Bulletproof – 2008 (Yep Roc)

Reviewed by Greg Yost

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CDs by Reckless Kelly

Stalwart Texas-based band Reckless Kelly is back with a vengeance on a scorching set of countrified roadhouse rockers. Throughout its 10-plus year career, the band, led by the brother team of Cody and Willy Braun, consistently delivered good albums that move effortlessly between rock and country. But here, Reckless Kelly compiles a memorable set that fires on all cylinders - with enough mainstream appeal to bring the music to a much broader audience without compromising the high standards the group has always maintained.

Catchy hooks and melodies are plentiful on the 14 tracks, creating a radio-friendly sound that has not always been fully-realized on previous albums. The strongest songs include the mid-tempo rockers "Love in Her Eyes" and "Don't Say Goodbye," along with the organ-soaked "You Don't Have to Stay Forever," a ballad to a potential one-night-stand.

While most of the album is filled with songs like these about love and relationships, the band takes a decided political turn with the intense "American Blood." Penned by Willy Braun, this brilliant track stands apart from other recent anti-war songs because it manages to both criticize the people responsible for the war while also showing unconditional love and support for the troops fighting it.

From both a creative and commercial standpoint, "Bulletproof" is the sound of a great band hitting its stride.