Bap Kennedy departs leaving an upbeat and enjoyable album of 12 songs that will be treasured by his large following on both sides of the Atlantic. Bap Kennedy’s Reckless Heart comes with the very sad news that it is his last record. In a year that unforgivably culled so much musical talent then he also succumbed to a short illness in November.
Kennedy enjoyed his first success, as a rocker in Energy Orchard, in the 1990’s before becoming the complete singer songwriter and more closely associated with British Americana through his own solo work and then later collaborations with Van Morrison, Shane McGowan (The Pogues) and latterly Mark Knopfler. It seems much of his popularity owed a lot to being such an agreeable partner as well as talented songwriter.
The overall feel is of an easy laid-back rock acoustic album with tasteful arrangements and an accomplished band to keep him company. Whilst the album is mainly upbeat then we have The Universe and Me which begins with the observation ‘there’s no music in money, there’s no money in love’ and it might be his most reflective song before shaking off the blues with a good time Honky Tonk Baby that probably doesn’t need explaining!
Highlights include a song about love lost in I Should Have Said I Love You. This is a beautiful melody and lyric; with his illness then you have to wonder if this was from a man starting to acknowledge some debts. And with that then maybe the title track Reckless Heart which talks of an impatient man who goes too far and loses the love he know who offered him a future.
I am sure his catalog will be coveted for some time to come.
Preview Reckless Heart by Bap Kennedy.