I couldn't make it through Ruston Kelly's full-length debut in one stretch the first time I tried. Between the mortal question - "How the hell do I return to normal / If I'm always ending up flat on my back?" - he poses on the opening track and the heart-wrenching harmonica on the next tune, by the time the vocoder washed over the image Kelly as the "son of a highway daughter, born in gasoline" on Track 3, I had to take a welled-up walk away from my desk. Kelly's been to the brink and back, and you can hear it in the moving songs that make up his latest album, Dying Star.
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