Stephen Duffy & the Lilac Time Keep Going

Stephen Duffy has yet to produce a bad album during his long, varied musical career. He might have made some unremarkable ones, but Keep Going definitely isn’t one of those. It is a very personal, touching record that features some of his best songwriting to date. The album is apparently inspired by the events of September 11 — Duffy was in New York during that day, and as he walked the streets taking pictures of the aftermath, this collection of songs came to him. That means that these are hardly the sunniest of songs he’s ever written, but their mellow, contemplative nature is a lot more uplifting than anyone might expect. Musically, it’s a quiet affair, with most songs being dominated by acoustic guitar and pedal steel, taking it mighty close to alt-country territory. But the most important element next to the heartfelt lyrics is the harmony vocals of Claire Worrall, which offset Duffy’s voice so beautifully. This is very much an ensemble piece where the end result far exceeds the individual elements. Keep Going is one of the finest albums that Stephen Duffy has been involved with and it just gets better with each subsequent listen. It should be the record that helps him back into the spotlight again, but because the world is an unjust place, he will probably languish as a talented outsider for a few more years. All the more reason to treasure this. (Fullfill)