Fourth album from Irish Soft Rock&Pop band, Keywest. The previous three were best sellers in their native Ireland, and expectations are deservedly high that Ordinary Superstar could well be their European breakout release.
The album’s ten impressively crafted songs spell out a musical manifesto born on the streets of Dublin and Galway, where they spent their formative years busking, filling in gaps between hard to find gigs. They’ve come far… nowadays, as well as supporting the likes of Hozier and Bastille,they sell out venues all over Ireland, and begin a tour of UK halls and festivals this month.
Those early days served as a perfect, real-life sounding board, allowing them to translate the interest of passing crowds into radio-friendly ambitions. And Ordinary Superstar is just filled to the brim with compelling material, each track a slice of the zeitgeist, the kind you hear wafting from tents of festival goers or trailing TV coverage of Glasto. Openers ‘Somebody To Love’ and ‘What Are You Waiting For’ show the band as songwriters rooted in tradition, picking up on the classic elements of pop, country and mainstream rock, with the production adding a sparkling, electronic sheen to the sweet strum of chiming guitars and slick percussion.
There’s a Paul Simon feel in the smart rhymes and clipped lyrics of ‘C’est La Vie’ and, of all people, a hint of Maroon 5 in the title track’s ringing guitar arpeggios and urgent, spoken word vocals, fired out like bursts of unchecked electricity.
The Irish Americana duet, ‘I’m Not Me Without You’, sung with Una Healy of The Saturdays, a whispered prayer of lover’s wisdom, is clearly aimed at adult-contemporary radio. ‘Wear Your Love’ and ‘This Is Heartbreak’ both aspire to modern pop greatness, showing up the kind of tight interplay and close harmonising that comes only from hard won experience, and another standout, Don’t Let Me Down, leans hard into the band’s buskery past, reminding us all just where they started, and how they got here.
With a decent bit of airplay, Ordinary Superstar could well be the one to break Keywest into a much wider market.
- Somebody To Love
- C’est La Vie
- I’m Not Me Without You
- Don’t Let Me Down
- Ordinary Superhero
- How Did We Get Here
- What Are You Waiting For
- Wear Your Love
- This Is Heartbreak
- Blood, Sweat & Tears