Picks and Pans Review: Under the Sun

updated 11/21/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/21/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

Paul Kelly and the Messengers

Sometimes a person just wants to enjoy a record without putting too much effort into it. That's when Australian pop star Paul Kelly comes in handy. On his second U.S. release, Kelly delivers 14 new songs that become instant sing-along material. In fact, Kelly has such a talent for writing bright, catchy melodies (with guitar-based rock accompaniment) that it's an added bonus to discover that some of his lyrics contain interesting ideas. In Desdemona, he compares his mistakes at love with those of Othello. Other songs show Kelly's talent for recounting a good story: To Her Door tells about a young woman who walks out on her heavy-drinking, unemployed husband until he nervously approaches her for a reconciliation. Some may find Kelly's voice bland, but Under the Sun is fresh enough to outclass the usual junk on pop radio and simple enough to make the easy listeners smile. (A & M)

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