REVIEW: Nathaniel Rateliff’s “And It’s Still Alright” is Stripped Down, Lush and Vibey

Reviews

“I love feeling alone,” Nathaniel Rateliff sings in the chorus of the opening song on his new album And It’s Still Alright. The line paints a perfect picture of what’s to follow on the next 9 tracks. With a more stripped down approach, Nathaniel Rateliff’s album is both lush and vibey with acoustic and pedal steel guitars giving just the right amount of reverb to make you feel like you’re sitting right next to him in a dim lit room as he tells you his most intimate thoughts.

While it’s nowhere near a huge departure from his previous albums, it does tend toward the side of simplicity in production. With sparse use of electric guitars and drums and not a horn section in sight, the project features acoustic guitars more prominently rather than the more familiar big band feel on previous albums with The Night Sweats. But fret not, the catchy hooks you came here for to make you sway and sing along with are still there on songs like “Expecting to Lose” and “Mavis.” The production continually keeps the listener engaged, occasionally sprinkling in 70s era Country-esque string arrangements on tracks such as “Tonight #2” and the weaving of dynamics in “Mavis,” this is an album you’ll want to put on your turntable and never take off.

The rawness of emotion between the heartbreak of divorce and death creeps into every crevice of this 10 song album. Out February 14th on Stax Records, Nathaniel Rateliff is here to help remind you that if you’re hurting, you’re not alone And It’s Still Alright. After Rateliff’s friend and produced Richard Swift passed away, Rateliff co-produced this album with Patrick Meese and James Barone at Swift’s studio, National Freedom, in Cottage Grove, Oregon. The album also consists of contributions from Tom Hagerman (DeVotchKa violinist), Luke Mossman (The Night Sweats guitarist), Elijah Thomson (Everest bassist), Daniel Creamer (The Texas Gentlemen keyboardist) and Eric Swanson (steel guitarist).  Find more here:  https://www.nathanielrateliff.com

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