Album Review: Kelly's Brother // The Gifts We've Been Given
A beautiful and heartfelt work, the debut album from Kelly's Brother is certainly one worth looking into. Living firmly within the folk genre, the duo consists of Charlie Krugger and Brittany Barko Krugger. Charlie provides lead vocals, five-string banjo, and drums, while Brittany plays guitar, drums, and sings as well (with "Cosmic Banquet" and "In Her Time" consisting entirely of vocals and Taos gathering drums). Conceptually, in their own words the album is "a project that offers a glimpse into the hidden world of simplicity and joy that has been revealed to them through their sister with special needs," Kelly Mae Krugger. An album of admirable depth and concept, it's continually loving and thoughtful. While the lyrics are at times brilliant and clearly well-envisioned, it is the instrumental work that most stands out here. Perhaps it's Charlie's vocals that too often reveal themselves in an Anthony Kiedis-like affectation, sometimes to a distracting degree, but the gorgeous musical passages are self-evident from the opening track, "Kelly's Song" and onward. Highlights include "Love Alone," "Falling Leaf (Harmony)," and "Reckoning (Ukraine)." It's a different kind of album, a bold offering with tinges of Christian ideals that never overtake the overall message and mission of the band itself, but work in tandem with it.