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World Music CD Reviews Australia & Oceania

Xavier Rudd

By James Rodgers
Published April 27, 2007

Food In The Belly

Singer-songwriter Xavier Rudd is big in his native Australia, but has yet to fully be embraced elsewhere. This should change with his consistently brilliant new release, Food In the Belly. All the familiar elements are here: the amazing guitar playing, the didgeridoo flourishes, the funky rhythms of the stomp box, the soulful vocals, and the earnest lyrics. But everything clicks this time out, with the comparisons to Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, and Paul Simon finally making sense. “Messages” sounds like an outtake from Simon’s Surprise with a sweet harmony vocal by Beth Preston. Recorded in May of 2006 in Vancouver, Canada and co-produced by Rudd and Todd Simko, these 13 tracks brim with an energy and joy that’s both palpable and contagious. Fans of the previously mentioned artists, Keller Williams, or those seeking CDs that will stay in their player all year, should gorge themselves with Food In the Belly.