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Kev MinneyKev Minney
Album: Stories Of The Sky
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 10
Website: http://www.kevminney.com

Many musicians want to be stars, but few are actually inspired by them. For his debut album, Kev Minney's muse was the universe itself, the songs infused with his interest in astronomy. It started with the one song, Dark Stars, which was produced by Mercury-nominated producer Jag Jago, and Minney knew he wanted to record a whole album. Just Another Day, Gravity and Can You Feel It Too followed, and all were space-inspired and linked well. Stories Of The Sky was born.

The album starts in gentle fashion, with emphasis on soothing melodies and poetic vocals. Nick Drake is clearly a touching point for Minney, and there's a hint of Bryter Layter in particular throughout. Fortunately Minney brings far more to the record than merely an homage. An early highlight is the genesis track, Dark Star, where Minney's acoustic guitar skills shine. In truth though it is difficult to pick standout tracks, such is the consistency on display.

The second half is perhaps the stronger, though only by degrees. Fairy Tales & Chains with its melancholic violin is hauntingly beautiful, and it features probably Minney's toughest vocal challenge, though he rises to it very well. Gravity feels like a welcome change of pace, upping the tempo a little, while Chances is a tranquil gem of a track. It plays out with Stardust, which is the most pop friendly track on the album, the piano lightening the tone and ends the record on an upbeat note.

While the consistent quality is impressive, especially on a debut album, it does have a slight downside. This lacks that couple of tracks that stick in your head, and keep you coming back for more. It does mean though that when you play the album, it's a wonderful surprise every single time. Overall it is a wonderful album that can only be described as astronomically good.

Adam Jenkins