Album Review: The Kennedys - West

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“Good, Better, Best,” the song that closes this album, is a 20th anniversary valentine from Pete Kennedy to his wife, Maura. Its title could also serve, however, as an assessment of the duo’s recorded output. In other words, West may be the finest album yet from the Kennedys, who have been making increasingly excellent CDs for two decades.

The couple’s vocals blend beautifully on tracks like “Perfect Love,” “Southern Jumbo,” and the exuberant title cut. Other winners include the sitar-spiced “Signs," the lilting “Locket," and the aforementioned “Good, Better, Best.” Expect ringing guitars, irresistible melodies, and gorgeous harmonies throughout this joyous and affecting package, which nods to such influences as the Byrds, Buddy Holly, and the Everly Brothers.

As the couple say in the liner notes, “We decided early on that our duo songs would be uplifting, encouraging and hopefully empowering, acknowledging the dark but holding out a spark.” That’s exactly what they deliver here.

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Jeff Burger (byjeffburger.com), a longtime magazine editor, has written about music, politics, and popular culture for more than 75 periodicals. His books include Lennon on Lennon: Conversations with John Lennon as well as Springsteen on Springsteen: Interviews, Speeches and Encounters and Leonard Cohen…

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