‘Still Life’ is Kylie Auldist’s third solo album and it confirms what those on the soul underground have known for as while; that the Aussie soulstress is a major force in the international soul firmament. Vocally, Kylie has immense strength, sass and presence but she also has the ability to temper all that with a vulnerable poignancy and lightness of touch when the situation demands it.
Hear the lady in full, feisty flow on the driven ”Nothin’ Else Beats Me’. It’s a punchy 4 minutes worth of sparse funk and the lady’s in no mood to take prisoners. On the sweet ballad ‘Letterhead Life’ we’re shown Kylie’s other face – the wistful soulstress who’s clearly been listening to mistresses of that genre – like Barbara Lewis and Barbara Mason; a real 60s throwback, this.
In between Kylie offers all kinds of everything. ‘Counting On You’ and ‘Changes’ are pacey pop/soul affairs; ‘Daydream’ is a busy beater with a hint of the psychedelic about it; ‘Howlin’ For You’ is a spirited reggae item that recalls the way Aswad used a brass section; ‘About Face’, ‘Night Of Lies’ and ‘All In You’ are all ballads with ‘Night Of Lies’, in particular, showing that Kylie understand the subtleties of soul music; she know she doesn’t need to resort to histrionics to create a sense of stark drama. That then leaves the album’s standout – ‘Still Life’. The song’s a real beaut and little wonder that Kylie and her people have chosen it as the LP’s title cut. It’s a wonderful, cute, soul groove partially built on the chassis of ‘Am I The Same Girl’/’Soulful Strut’ but in no way copying it. It possesses a life of its own and on it Kylie shows us all her faces. It needs to be investigated. Watch out for a full interview with Kylie here @ SJF very soon.