Picks and Pans Review: Gossip

updated 01/18/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/18/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

Paul Kelly and the Messengers

Just because gossip is entertaining doesn't mean it's always reliable. The same can be said of the uneven U.S. debut album by Kelly, an Australian rocker. This Gossip contains five or so terrific tunes that express a wide range of viewpoints. Darling It Hurts is a Huey Lewis-style paean to a woman who hangs out on Darlinghurst Road in Sydney's red-light district. Tighten Up shows life through the eyes of a down-and-out family. Don't Harm the Messenger translates for the modern world the ancient Scottish proverb of the song's titleā€”the one about differentiating between those who create bad news and those who deliver it. The good tracks get stuck, however, between boring filler. While Kelly and his four Messengers do well with city rock, their country numbers drone on in leaden fashion. Gossip made the Top 10 in Australia. Kelly may wait awhile before he gets a buzz going in the U.S. (A&M)

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