The Dangerous Age
by Kate Ceberano, Steve Kilbey and Sean Sennett
REVIEWS and COMMENTS
This is an extraordinary album for extraordinary times.
One of its sumptuous secrets is the salted caramel that's formed by combining the voices of Kilbey and Sennett with that of Ceberano. Heartache and butterflies ensue.
Ceberano's voice sounds different from her past. It's grittier. She is still the dreamer she always was, but she is older, weathered by experience, by loss and failure. All pretence is gone.
This is when art is at its most profound.
This is one of the most profound new albums I have heard in a long time.
All in all this release is a must for your collection, whatever the format preference you have these days. Kate, Steve and Sean have delivered a wonderful collection of music that needs to be heard by the masses. I thoroughly recommend the album and can't speak highly enough of it's content!
★★★½ (3.5 stars out of five)
First came Seeker Lover Keeper, composed of Sally Seltmann, Sarah Blasko and Holly Throsby. Then came (Mia) Dyson, (Liz) Stringer and (Jen) Cloher, an arguably even stronger aggregation of singers and songwriters. The difference with Australia's third "power trio" to arrive with a new release in the space of six months is that the vocal spotlight is firmly trained on Kate Ceberano, with the Church's Steve Kilbey and journalist-musician Sean Sennett her creative foils. But The Dangerous Age is not what you might expect from such a diverse triumvirate. For a start, Ceberano is singing well out of her comfort zone, forsaking her past pop-soul and jazz mannerisms for vintage pop, albeit with avant-garde undertones. The three singles released so far — the ice-cool Monument City Lights, 1973, recalling David Bowie's Berlin period; All Tied Up, an Australian suburban bondage anthem; and the sublimely melodic My Restless Heart — encapsulate the contrasts endemic to The Dangerous Age. What began as a writing partnership between Ceberano and Sennett grew a third leg when the latter met Kilbey at a writers festival. Ceberano didn't even know the Church frontman had become involved in the project until Sennett presented her with a demo of All Tied Up, with "Grant McLennan-style" lyrics by Kilbey. From there it evolved into an interstate collaboration, Ceberano holed up in a Melbourne studio with producer Rod Bustos, and Sennett and Kilbey emailing their respective contributions from Brisbane and Sydney. This remote chemistry coalesces on So Long Ago, where Ceberano dips and soars over Bustos's George Martin-esque orchestration while Sennett and Kilbey's sombre backing vocals only heighten the song's air of nostalgic longing. Kilbey's distinctive drone and opaque lyrics feature across the record, with Sennett's presence felt most keenly on the spacey, Eastern-flavoured Glacial Speed and the enigmatic closer, Whatever Happened to Steven Valentine?
It's high time Kate Ceberano was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. What a voice, and what a career!
She follows her ARIA Award-winning covers collection, Tryst with Paul Grabowsky, with another collaboration, this time teaming up with The Church's Steve Kilbey and Brisbane musician and journalist Sean Sennett to deliver an adult contemporary record that's both adventurous and inviting.
Ceberano takes the lead, and her vocal is pop perfection, while Kilbey's voice has undeniable presence. They complement each other brilliantly, bringing these hypnotic tales to life. Check out On Love and All Tied Up. An unlikely combination, but a triumph.
★★★★½ (4.5 stars out of five)
What happens when you combine the iconic musical talent of Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Kate Ceberano, The Church's Steve Kilbey and industry all-rounder Sean Sennett? Pure magic! No surprise really. What is surprising though is the sonic landscape that they dwell in for The Dangerous Age.
The Dangerous Age is a blend of each artist's personalities and stylistic backgrounds. Glimmers of the seductive cabaret Ceberano centre 'The Losing Game', 'My Restless Heart' and 'Whatever Happened To Steven Valentine', and her bold rocker side appears on 'Not The Loving Kind'. With undeniably the biggest female voice in Australia, the trio opted to hold the reins on the powerhouse to capture the delicacy of the storytelling for the most part so when Ceberano is let loose the jet-fuel projection punctures your chest. Give 'All Tied Up' and brace for impact.
Kilbey's theatrical and haunting soars are notable on the title track and 'Girl On The Highwire' while Sennett country twangs are unmistakable on 'Shot From Memory'. Different background aside, the trio mould into one another like wet concrete, but the chemistry sets them into solid gold.
The most surprising element of The Dangerous Age is that Ceberano and Kilbey never once stepped foot in a room together. Could have fooled us!
★★★★ (4 stars out of five)
Musical artists Kate Ceberano, Steve Kilbey and Sean Sennett have teamed up to produce a new album titled The Dangerous Age. As the name might imply, the album has an overall melancholy and foreboding sound. Despite these heavy undertones, the collection of works is remarkably upbeat, seamlessly combining Kate, Steve and Sean's talents and the effortless way they seem to complement one another.
It's never easy for artists to escape the long shadow of their own careers and find fresh fields. But somehow Ceberano and Kilbey have done it here, thanks to the catalyst of their mutual musical friend, Sean Sennett.
Sparks don't always fly when different songwriters work together. But they certainly do here.