Robin Kelly
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Robin Kelly

Auckland, New Zealand | Established. Jan 01, 2000 | INDIE

Auckland, New Zealand | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2000
Solo Folk Adult Contemporary


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Black Ice review"

Interesting. Weird. Haunting. Specifically, I'm not sure how to describe this one! I haven't heard much like it, so it's hard to compare. I could compare Robin Kelly to himself, but where would that get us?

I love Robin's voice. It's rather a counter-tenor, much like 2 people: and I can't remember either of their names. Great review, huh? One's a big black guy with a high voice. The other's the lead singer in a popular 80s band, with a high, odd voice. But RK has a clean sound, soft stuff that's great in headphones. For instance, 'Black Ice' is a good traveling song with simple acoustic guitar and bass in the foreground, and a jazzy electric guitar way in the back putting on a show.

The song that sticks with me most is 'Sarsen Stone'. Possibly because it is one of the Strangest sounding things I've heard yet. I don't mean it's experimental. But just the sound of the high sleepy voice along with that mandolin which creeps underneath. Spooky. World music right out of New Zealand. If this is the norm for NZ, I wanna go.

While 'Crying Shame' is much like the black/blueness of the 80s sound I almost mentioned above. Listen to this at 1 am or after. It is essential you do this to soak in all of the mystery and creepiness that invigorates this unknown classic. Well, classic might be strong, but it's a song that will stick to your shadow.

I'm still not sure what genre to say, unless 80s-pop-folk. But that's not really right. I'm afraid this is 1 occasion where you can't take my words for it, you've just got to listen to Robin, who is Well worth the trial. Good acoustic performances. A strangely rich darkness that amazingly Never makes you depressed. How is this possible? How can he get AWAY with it?? I don't know.
- Muses's Muse. Ben Ohmart

"Shimmer review"

Genre: Acoustic. Folk-Rock Sounds Like: Don McLean, Neil Young, John Lennon
Technical Grade: 10/10 Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 10/10 Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10 Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Tears from Wells Run Dry, Something I Said, Bridal Bed Weakness: None
CD REVIEW: Logging in at just over 41 minutes the CD kicks things off with “No More Than Lovers Ever know” a catchy upbeat piece that serves up steady rock beat, acoustic rhythm guitar, and hooky vocal accents from Kelly. Track 2 “The Lady Across the Way” is yet another impressive acoustic-based ballad serving up impressive Hammond Organ accents, and infectious vocals from Kelly. Track 3 “Running Wild” shifts gears a bit and dishes out an impressive into build, driving rhythm, passionate vocal building, and impressive solo guitar work. The music itself has a steady acoustic rock/folk vibe reminiscent of Don Mclean, Neil Young, and maybe a splash of John Denver. It fills the sonic space peacefully, and unobtrusively. The vocal style of Kelly goes down smooth, and is warm, inviting. It has a flair strikingly similar to John Lennon. His New Zealand, Australian accent is quite appealing, easy to listen to, and stands out in a very positive way. . Kelly also brings to the table a lot of musical variety from impressive harmonica, Hammond Organ, keyboard, horns, rockability style guitar, and piano accents all layered well within the music. As the CD slowly unfolds its obvious Robin Kelly is an accomplished singer/songwriter. "Shimmer" delivers 12 songs that are extremely well crafted and consistent. From upbeat folk melodies like “Bridal Bed”, “By Your Side” and “Time We Were Friends”, to the catchy Caribbean style ballad “I’m not Slipping Away” to easy going “Lucky Man.” It’s fair to say there’s something on this CD for just about everybody. Shimmer also delivers a few passionate ballads as well - “Somehow” and “Something I Said” Here we see the true brilliance of Kelly shine thorough. He showcases rich conventional wisdom, with pure honesty via his amazing songwriting virtuoso. My favorite song on "Shimmer" has got to be “Tears from "Wells Run Dry.” Here Robin Kelly hits it out of the park with a prefect blend of Caribbean style musicianship, amazing songwriting with catchy vocals and lyrical content. The CD ends with Track 12 “Watching Life (Passing You Buy)" It’s the perfect finale piece! From start to finish “Shimmer” showcases 12 amazing songs that will uplift your spirit, and transcend your soul. After spending 41 minutes alone with “Shimmer” I abandoned all hopes of finding any legitimate weaknesses to make note of. “Shimmer” is an impressive musical production from start to finish. Robin Kelly is a world class singer, songwriter. There’s not a weak song on this entire catalogue period! The musicianship is first rate, the songs ere short and sweet musical experiences, the mix and master are professional grade. Each song possesses a unique personality, flair, and signature groove to call their own. Lastly - the singing abilities of Robin Kelly is infectious, and will suck you in mind, body, and soul. Having released 4 CD’s now, New Zealander Robin Kelly is proving to be a force to reckoned with, and continues to prove himself year after year with an impressive musical catalogue. I guess could go on and on all night about Robin Kelly, you simply have got to get your hands on some of his music and hear what I am talking about. You should start with “Shimmer” What else can I say - It’s pretty much amazing!

Cyrus Rhodes Indie Music Digest. March2010
- Indie Music Digest 2010

"Something Magical review"

Logging in at just under 45 minutes the CD starts things off with “We all let go” a gentle intro piece complete with acoustic guitar, piano, and soothing vocals from Kelly. Track 2 “Something Magical” serves up yet another impressive track with flowing melody, some impressive string accents providing rich melodic structure. Track 3 “Keep Her Warm” is a passionate marquee ballad, with impressive harmonica solo, and vocal build reminiscent of John Lennon, or Don McLean. The CD makes a great first impression, its gentle, soothing, and flows extremely well song for song. The music, lyrical content and subject matter is quite uplifting, and is packed full of hope, and deep conventional wisdom. The musical tones and textures remind me a lot of R.E.M. however Kelly’s vocal style is more folk-mainstream to be considered Alternative. This music is pure acoustic folk that is sung from a deeply honest perspective. What’s impressive about this CD is the amount of musical variety displayed on this CD. Some songs will lift your spirits like “The Dusty Road to Eldorado” and “Coming Home Soon”. While other are full of wisdom like “We all let go”. The defining moments for me musically are the sad but true statements - “Heal our Child” and “For Ever Now” this is where we see the true brilliance of Robin Kelly shine through. The musicianship of all the players involved is solid. I might add Kelly’s vocal style works – and is unobtrusive, refuses to try to hard, and fills the space peacefully. Kelly holds his own pretty well on the bare bones acoustic songs quite well - tracks “The Moment” and “The Angel to Your Eyes”. I didn't fail to notice a few well placed falsettos in there as well. My favorite piece on the entire CD is by far Track 7 “Peace and Understanding.” This amazing love ballad lets it all hang out serving up sizzling piano, passionate vocal build that will remind you of John Lennon. Something Magical provides rich creativity, with a slew of musical textures and instrumentation. The CD end with Track 11: “The “Angel in your Eyes” A powerful, emotionally changed final statement that leaves things on a solitary note. Songs “The Dusty Road to Eldorado” and “Bare Eternity/Out There” tend to drag a bit at the end pushing 15 minutes between them both. Though Kelly’s vocal style goes down smooth, I really wish he took a few more vocal risks here and there showcasing raw emotion. Emotion that is to powerful to be choreographed. The best artists can let this all hang out vocally. It can also be done within this context of this genera. Artists like Don McLean, Janis Ian, Billy Joel, Joni Mitchell are legends because they spike the punch wit their amazing vocal touches. Listen to “Yee Haw” (3:07) Track 5 “The Dusty Road to Eldorado” to see how bad it can get. “Peace and Understanding” comes awfully close to what I am talking about with it's reckless vocal swagger reminiscent of John Lennon. No matter how powerful the music, or the message, nothing and I repeat nothing will ever trump (Singer to listener) emotional delivery when it comes to song impact. Overall this release from Robin Kelly is extremely impressive. Its strong suit is his strong musical variety, deep emotional peaks and valleys, and thought provoking subject matter. Kelly's' conventional wisdom is simply priceless. He tells each story with peaceful tranquility, hope, and pure honesty. When this CD is over you will be dazzled by his wisdom, touched by his message, and mesmerized by his vocal presence. My hats off to entire the production team as "Something Magical” is clearly an industry standard production. Its obvious listening to the music of Robin Kelly – he is a traveler with many interesting stories to tell. Robin Kelly is an artist worthy of audience, respect, and praise.
Cyrus Rhodes
- Indie Music Digest 2010


Black Ice (1998)
Silk & Knives (2002)
Shimmer (2007 NZ 2010 US)
Something Magical (2010)



“Each song has a different flavour, a different life. By the time a song is recorded it has already grown and changed. It then matures and transforms each time it is performed. Sometimes it is put away for years in suspended animation. Few songs ever die.”

Robin has written songs all his life. However, in the early nineties they came through in a flurry, and he wandered into a studio in Mount Eden, Auckland and did his best to convince the owner to help him with a couple of demos. In 1998, he released his first album ‘Black Ice’ gaining national radio airplay, and a live spot on television New Zealand performing ‘Empty Sack of Dreams.’

Since then three albums have followed; all have been critically acclaimed. In 2003 he was Artist of the Week at New Zealand’s premier radio station 1ZB. Shimmer was first released in 2007 in New Zealand, and this year in the USA, where it has been nominated for 2010 Album of the Year by Indie Music Digest.

Robin’s other life is as a writer and presenter. In his presentations, sometimes he just talks, sometimes he just sings, sometimes both. In the evening, he just sings. In 2009, his presentation The Human Hologram was a highlight of New Zealand's first TEDx. His second book won best science book at the 2008 USA Best Books Awards. He is a frequent radio and TV guest in New Zealand and the US, including an interview with George Noory on Coast to Coast in December 2009.

When he is not performing, he is known to work from home as a doctor.

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