The latest from Austin-based Reckless Kelly is primarily songwriter Willy Braun's exploration of relationships delivered in a mix of hard-edged rockers and country ballads. The band is at their best with the cynical rocker She Likes Money, He Likes Love
("They'll stay together 'till they find something better") which features hot guitar licks from David Abeyta.
Braun's jaded view of love is also on display in the mid-tempo Weatherbeaten Soul ("This old heart can take a beating just like Mother Nature planned/ But I just hope that it isn't more than I can stand") and the ballad I Stayed Up All Night Again in which Braun describes a night of drunken songwriting ("Then I pulled out that bottle and filled up a glass/ Rescued a wrinkled up page from the trash"), featuring nice harmony vocals from Dani Flowers.
One of the stronger tracks is the darkly humorous I Never Liked Saint Valentine, co-written with Todd Snider, that observes the virtues of other saints ("Saint Patrick, he had his own day too/Except on his day you can go get drunk and nobody will get mad at you") while noting "Some saints ain't that saintly, and that's fine/Least they don't come around once a year to remind me that I don't have a Valentine").
With New Moon Over Nashville Braun deviates from the main theme to cast his critical gaze on the country music capitol ("I never got much done in Music City/Here lately they've been looking for a different kind of sound"), but manages an optimistic view of the future ("There's a new moon over Nashville tonight/And though it's dark the future's looking bright/There's a new moon over Nashville finally lined up right/It's gonna shine, shine, shine on my lucky stars tonight").
With Brauns' strong lyrics and stellar musicianship from guitarist Abeyta, percussionist Jay Nazz, bassist Chris Schelske and particularly brother Cody Braun on fiddle and mandolin, this is an impressive effort.