Published Feb 11, 2020Nathaniel Rateliff's latest solo full-length, And It's Still Alright, was seven years in the making, but well worth the wait. Steeped in heartache, pain and personal loss, this record is a slow burn that requires multiple listens in order to fully process and appreciate its artistry.
From the finger-snapping, toe-tapping existential crisis of "What A Drag" and the exploration of despair in title track "And It's Still Alright" to the spaghetti western-imbibed, masterful "Tonight #2," which features the gentle and soulful violin playing of Tom Hagerman, it's clear that Nathaniel has turned inward toward the "darkness on the edge of town."
Instead of dwelling in hopelessness, however, a "light at the end of the tunnel" is evident, and as a result, this release is a wholly relatable start to finish. Musically, And It's Still Alright arguably never exceeds a medium tempo, and includes elements of folk, country and even a light sprinkling of jazz, thanks, in part, to the guitarwork of backing band the Night Sweats' own Luke Mossman and the pedal steel work of multi-instrumentalist Eric Swanson.
It's a late night listening record set in the candlelit environment of the human psyche and a worthy followup to Nathaniel's Falling Faster Than You Can Run. (Stax)