David Kilgour The Far Now

When it comes to the New Zealand music scene, David Kilgour could very well be considered royalty, something reflected by the New Zealand Order of Merit award he received in 2001. During his time with legendary band the Clean, he not only shaped the Antipodean music scene in the ’80s but also influenced scores of other bands with their jagged, psychedelic guitar sounds. Despite The Far Now being his sixth solo release, Kilgour is not resting on his laurels. He is still experimenting with the idea of the three-minute pop song, something that isn’t new for this master songwriter, but there is a fresh plan of attack this time around. The entire album alternates between songs recorded by himself at his home studio, with the other half featuring a band comprised of his friends known as the Heavy 8s. Yet it doesn’t seem to have a huge impact on the overall sound, apart from a bit more acoustic guitar when he’s playing by himself. The Far Now manages to sound both old and new, with songs that could have come from any time during his musical career — the early days are well represented with the shimmering guitars of "Sun Of God,” while "BBC World” picks up where his last record, Frozen Orange, left off. At this point in his career, it would be very difficult for Kilgour to damage his musical legacy, but an album as accomplished as this merely demonstrates that he is not ready to call it a day. (Merge)