Bap Kennedy - Let’s Start Again (Album Review)

Coming of age album for music fans of a certain age

I’ve been a fan of Bap Kennedy’s music since the Power-Punk days of Energy Orchard in the late 1980’s and own every solo album he’s recorded and I can honestly say LET’S START AGAIN and THE SAILOR’S REVENGE are by far the best albums he’s ever made.

After touring and recording for nigh on 30 years Kennedy looked and sounded like he’d had enough with the music business; but the spark was re-kindled when he met and married the delectable Brenda and his new found joie de vivre comes across in not only his writing; but his singing too.

The title track LET’S START AGAIN is, perhaps the most obvious song on the album and sounds like a man who can’t believe his luck at finding ‘true love’ at this stage of his life. It has to be said that Brenda supplies some sublime harmonies too.

This is followed by Revelation Blues which is the closest he’s come to sounding like Energy Orchard in years; with John Fitzpatrick making his fiddle fizz as Gordy McAllister performs his usual magic on the guitar in the background.

King of Mexico has a soft mariachi beat; which sounded odd at first, but when you know the songwriter you know he has always had a fascination with this part of the world (check out Fools Paradise too) and it was only a matter of time before it ended up on record. It wouldn’t surprise me if the song eventually turned up on a Raul Malo album, by the way.

Two songs caught my attention on the first listening – Radio Waves; which absolutely nails the fascination many of us have with the Cosmos and features the finest Sha La La La Lees that didn’t come out of Motown! The other is the Countrified Let It Go which neatly ends the album in a way, only a man ‘at one with himself’ could write or sing.

From start to finish there is an air of mischief and romance threading their way through every song as Bap and his band jump from musical style to style, without anything ever sounding out of place.

Bap hasn’t managed to better THE SAILORS REVENGE; which I described as his Masterpiece, but he has managed to match it in every detail and nuance which is a stroke of genius.

www.bapkennedy.comReleased Feb 2014

Views: 1074

Tags: Ireland

Comment by Jim McGuinness on January 5, 2014 at 7:51pm

Thanks for writing this, Alan. I became a fan of Bap's after hearing 'Domestic Blues' in '98. Like you, I just loved 'The Sailor's Revenge' and will be snapping up this new one as well.

Comment by norm tandberg on January 6, 2014 at 6:47am

another bap fan checking in. yes, i believe i have all his work and have marked the calendar with this feb.4th date. thanks for writing alan i always enjoy your record reviews.

Comment by Joseph May on January 7, 2014 at 9:45am

    Thanks again Alan for this great review on one of my favorite artist of all time.  You got me stoked-up waiting for my copy to arrive and it's the deluxe 2cd version!!!!!!!!!!! Also thought "The Sailor's Revenge" was one of his best gave my 5 star rating to "Please Return To Jesus" and Bap always comes through with bunches of 5 star recordings on his albums.

Comment by Harrisonaphotos on January 7, 2014 at 9:53am

there's a Deluxe version?????

Comment by Stuartstorm on January 7, 2014 at 10:35am

Great to have him back with an new Album! Long time fan since his days with Energy Orchard!

Comment by Stuartstorm on January 7, 2014 at 10:37am

Only claim - we have to wait to get "Lets Start Again" in February!

Comment by Joseph May on January 7, 2014 at 11:34am

  Alan, It's like the deluxe version of "Sailors Revenge" they throw in some bonus material on that second cd along with what I believe are re-mastered album versions of his past best songs picked by Bap. On this new cd the bonus recordings are acoustic versions of two of my favorites off "Sailors Revenge" (1) Please Return to Jesus (2) Jimmy Sanchez. The deluxe version of "Sailors Revenge" bonus material was (1) Into The Arms of Love (from the British Grove Studios recording sessions) (2) Be True To Your Heart (unrealeased demo track) (3) Moriarty's Blues (alternative version)

  I still believe you can get the deluxe version of Bap's new cd at

 Enjoy, I know you will!!!!!!!!!!!


Comment by Harrisonaphotos on January 7, 2014 at 11:50am

I believe a call to his management is in order!

Comment by Jim McGuinness on January 7, 2014 at 1:08pm

Alan, I will definitely buy this, import or not. But any idea if there will be a US release on this?

Comment by Harrisonaphotos on January 7, 2014 at 1:32pm

I shall ask on your behalf :)


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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.