Right from start, the first songs off Brendan Kelley’s new solo record, Quicksand, exhibit two things: intellectual songwriting and extensive guitar ability. Clearly having many Southern, blues and country influences in his music, but coming from Boston, Kelley’s music gives a sense of experience and wisdom, a hard thing to do at only 21. His age does seem to play a factor, however, considering that many of his pieces tend to appeal to modern tones and qualities; electric guitar solos worthy of a place among the best of bluesy riffs and powerful, wide-ranging vocals. His classic ballads draw comparisons to greats such as Bob Dylan and Neil Diamond, with other pieces such as “Build A Bridge,” the eighth track of the album, having sing-along qualities. “Quicksand” is perhaps the song that best epitomizes his sound and portrays his image as a modern rocker deeply involved with his musical roots.
Delving deeper into the album, songs such as the sixth track, “Pass Me By,” and the third, “You Make It Easy,” slow down the tempo and stray from the hard rock, country, and classic Southern sound of “I Love You Not” and “Live My Dreams.” “I Love You Not” boasts extremely catchy riffs while Kelley shows his guitar prowess by sprinkling many solos and fillers in between. His raw vocal talent and range, along with musical creativity, is evident in his differing array of arrangements. His collections of skills verify him as an up-and-coming artist with potential to be something special. Receiving links to such legends is not an easy accomplishment and this Boston boy delivers a captivating, appealing record full of songs that connect with listeners of every genre and render timeless music.