NATHANIEL RATELIFF – ” And It’s Still Alright “

Posted: July 5, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , ,

“There’s not a note out of place but there’s some clear wear and tear on the singer.” Nat’s angling for Americana MVP this year. First he released this heart-broke pearl, then he got back in step with The Night Sweats for an excellent single before closing out April with a birthday song for Willie Nelson that makes me want to grow pigtails and start smoking weed again.

For a soul singer who promised to drink his life away, and made a good start of it, this is an incredibly delicate album – sombre, regretful, occasionally sweet but much more often bitter. There’s not a note out of place but there’s some clear wear and tear on the singer.

It’s nowhere near the brassy, bombastic fare that made Rateliff a household name. It’s also not out of character; before The Night Sweats he put out two solo records that had him pegged as a bit of a misery guts. The BBC review of his 2010 debut said “It all seems so mournful and woebegone, one starts to suspect that In Memory of Loss is a darkly comic concept album about the futility of existence.” So not exactly a boot scooter.

Existence isn’t pointless on Still Alright, it’s a sharp right hook. It’s also passing. Death and divorce spill out every which way here, but you get the impression Rateliff knows how to dust himself off and it’s not a record that ever feels hopeless.

“All Or Nothing” off the latest album “And It’s Still Alright” on Stax Records

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