Paul Kelly will bring a huge crowd to the Rockhampton Pilbeam Theatre in July.
Paul Kelly will bring a huge crowd to the Rockhampton Pilbeam Theatre in July. Contributed

Old habits die hard on Paul Kelly's new album

AUSTRALIA'S old hand at heartbroken love songs, Paul Kelly, begins his new album with new love in New Found Year - but old fans will know that Kelly's love is not the lasting type.

"I'm your new man," he sweetly croons - but old habits die hard on this new release, Spring and Fall.

The rock icon has had five years between albums, but the harmonica and guitar are as familiar here as in hits like To Her Door and Deeper Water.

Gonna Be Good, a frustrated walking tour of Adelaide, has its optimistic title undermined by the next song, Someone New - "I just wanna sleep with someone new, someone I've never met - knowing it's a foolish thing to do, and sure to cause regret."

The ballad of a chronic cheater, the soft honesty and delivery almost make the concept sweetly touching - and then it is, with the final verse, the promise "I don't want to sneak around.. so every day I make her someone new".

A new leaf for Kelly, perhaps?

Not quite - Time and Tide, like the album title, reminds that what's hot grows cold - and Cold Canada drives the chilly message home.

And in the closing song, Little Aches and Pains, he assesses another relationship lost: "You know what they say: can't complain."

As long as he keeps singing about it, Australia's music scene will be the better for it.