Nathaniel Rateliff - 'And It's Still Alright'

7/10

Having garnered international success with his group The Night Sweats these last few years, frontman Nathaniel Rateliff has found himself in a state of flux in recent times. Having just gone through an emotional divorce and seen the passing of his close friend and collaborator Richard Swift, the frontman no longer felt the urge to bring back his fresh and vibrant soul-infused backing group this time around, but instead returned to his more sombre and thought-provoking roots as he delivers his latest solo album 'And It's Still Alright', a record that shares his more heartfelt and despondent side.

Although despite the fact this release was born out of personal tragedy, Rateliff has never been one to create such sorrowful pieces of music, but instead uses his solo guise to get back to his strong and atmospheric roots to unveil a wonderfully broad and sweeping collection. From the very start, 'And It's Still Alright' makes the clear distinction between itself and his work with The Night Sweats. The bold and energetic fanfare of his group remains lost on this release as he swoons and croons his way through a string of lo-fi country-infused tracks that add a cathartic edge to his normally exuberant persona.

This may not be the Nathaniel Rateliff album that many were expecting, but it certainly sees him give off a more expansive and explorative aesthetic, showing us exactly why he is such a revered figure in modern soul music. 'And It's Still Alright' is not the mournful record we were thinking it would be, and that makes for a fresh and warming new offering.

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