This week's latest and greatest…

Paul Kelly - Life Is Fine (EMI)

The bold chords of the opening piano passage in Rising Moon immediately jump out, forming a strong foundation to what eventually turns into a formidable sonic landscape. Guitars, organ and backing vocals all mesh together in a huge sound and the album goes tearing out the gates. Paul Kelly's latest release is eclectic, as is evident even in the first two tracks. Finally Something Good lends itself to Kelly's songwriting - specifically to his lyricism - as do Firewood And Candles, Leah: The Sequel and Letter In The Rain. Fans of his formative work and 'classics' may not be completely sold on some of the material, however anyone who has followed his musical journey will surely see this as yet another powerful stride forward.

"Kelly's writing still resonates with powerful imagery and vivid settings, as well as the occasional and familiar injection of faith and religion for good measure." - Lukas Murphy. Album Of The Week, four stars. Read more…  

Jen Cloher - Jen Cloher (Milk Records/Remote Control)

This is album number four for Jen Cloher and in keeping with the title and stark artwork - featuring Cloher naked and with guitar - it is her most honest, clear-cut and autobiographical release to date.

So many songwriters cloud their ideas and experiences in metaphors and diversionary tactics, but Cloher goes straight for the literal and personal, detailing the trials and tribulations of extended periods apart from her partner (and guitarist) Courtney Barnett, suburban malaise, gay marriage, Dirty Three and the shallowness and strain of the music industry. It amounts to an internal and external state of the nation address, delivered with poetic poise and intellectual observation.

"Her most honest, clear-cut and autobiographical release to date." - Chris Familton, four stars. Read more… 

Read more - Jen Cloher: Never Gonna Be The Joy To Courtney's Slim Dusty

The Preatures - Girlhood (Universal)

On these tracks, frontwoman Isabella "Izzi" Manfredi is more vulnerable and exposed than ever before, her voice floating over emotive instrumentals, and delivering some of her best songwriting to date. The rest of the band - producer and guitarist Jack Moffitt, drummer Luke Davison and bassist Thomas Champion - inject the new album with a palpable energy.

"The contradictions of being a woman in this day and age are not only expressed lyrically, but are reflected sonically." - Madelyn Tait, four stars. Read more… 

And the rest of the releases… 

AviciiAvici (Universal)
Billie EilishDon’t Smile At Me (Universal)
CHIPLeague Of My Own II (Cash Motto)
Dawn Of DiseaseAscension Gate (Napalm Records/Rocket)
Devil Electric Devil Electric (Kozmik/Artifactz)
Downtown BoysCost Of Living (Sub Pop/Inertia)
Forevr Death Is A Miracle (Independent)
Forevr Classics (Independent)
Hamjama/s/l? (Bedroom Suck/Remote Control)
Hinder The Reign (BMG/ADA)
James Heather Stories From Far Away On Piano (Ahead Of Our Time/Inertia)
Justice For The DamnedDragged Through The Dirt (Greyscale Records)
Kate Miller-Heidke & The Sydney Symphony OrchestraLive At The Sydney Opera House (ABC/Universal)
Kesha Rainbow (Kemosabe/Sony)
Oneohtrix Point NeverGood Time Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Warp/Inertia)
Rat Boy Scum (Ratboy/Warner)
Rival FireWar (Sony)
Sand PebblesPleasure Maps (Kasumuen Records)
Self TalkAlmost Everything (Inertia Access)
Suburban HazeWilt (Independent)
The Bombay RoyaleRun Kitty Run (Hope Street Recordings)
The DistrictsPopular Manipulations (Pod/Inertia)
The Lurking FearOut Of The Voiceless Grave (Century Media/Sony)
The Steoples Six Rocks (Stones Throw/Inertia)
Trailer Trash TracysAlthaea (Double Six Domino)
Venom Inc.Avé (Nuclear Blast)