Released: April 22
Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri share their candid reflections on the journey of life with their latest album of collaborations ‘The Long Ride Home’.
More than two decades into their professional relationship, the LP is only Kiki and Carmelo’s fourth studio album together, once again bringing together her evocative storytelling with his rich soundscapes.
Opening with its title track – a seven-minute sweeping Americana number that builds to a rousing climax – the record is heavy with mesmerising lyrics that lure you into a world of hope and optimism that comes as a welcome relief in ever uncertain times.
Album cut Small Mercies typifies the pair’s ‘glass half full’ approach to music, while delicate number The Ballerina Inside looks back on a time gone by as the singer-songwriter connects with her inner child in a way that’s both touching and heartwarming.
While the lyrics look inward, the album is built around collaborations with a global network of musicians and, on No Angels Tonight, the duo is joined by a cohort of gospel singers who elevate the track to new heights, blending their tones over subtle Indian and Latin influences that punctuate the truly global LP.
Kiki’s legacy may be rooted in upbeat pop tracks like Star and I’ve Got the Music in Me, and love songs such as Loving and Free and, of course, the Elton John collaboration Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, but now she makes a conscious effort to veer away from overtly loved-up lyrics, instead offering a more profound insight into her outlook on life that comes with age and maturity.
However, there’s one exception – the wistful I’d Be Undone – which bucks the trend beautifully and proves that, despite not exercising the muscle often, she’s still more than capable of penning a stellar ode to romance.
Six decades into her recording career, Kiki’s voice may have gone down an octave, but her vocals are impassioned and poignant, befitting the genre and evoking classics such as Emmylou Harris’ ‘90s masterpiece ‘Wrecking Ball’.
All this time later, Kiki Dee remains one of the UK’s enduring singer-songwriters and, while her legacy may not yet receive the recognition it deserves, ‘The Long Ride Home’ is further proof that, at the age of 75, she’s still going strong.
Longtime fans of Kiki and Carmelo will surely eat up their latest project and, for those just joining them on their journey, there’s a whole sidestory in Kiki Dee’s decades-spanning career to discover.
‘The Long Ride Home’ is out now.