Photo: Rett Rogers
Nathaniel Rateliff wears his vulnerability on his sleeve on his sombre new solo record, ‘And It’s Still Alright’. The Denver troubadour - who is best known for his R&B/soul troupe Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats - went back to his folk roots to address some matters of the heart and personal pain following the end of his marriage and the loss of his long-time collaborator, Richard Swift, who sadly passed away in 2018 after battling with alcohol addiction. Rateliff pours his soul out on the deeply depressing title track. He sings: "They say you learn a lot out there/How to scorch and burn/Gonna have to bury your friends/And then you’ll find it gets worse/Standing out on the ledge/With no way to get down/Start praying for wings to grow/Oh, baby, just let go." On closing track 'Rush On', Rateliff's ode to Swift, his soaring voice is intermittent and breaks up as he bravely channels his grief. At times, the record is whimsical, noticeably on ‘All or Nothing’.
And despite the tender subject matter, Nathaniel's earthy vocal hits you with its warmth.
Rating: 8/10 For Fans Of: City and Colour, Bob Dylan