Sixto Rodriguez may represent the most unlikely disinterral of hidden hippie rock genius since the likes of Drake and Buckley became household names.
Thankfully, he's still alive, and has even started gigging again since last year's successful reissue of his 1970 debut Cold Fact, which revealed the Detroit-based Chicano songwriter to be a true original operating decades ahead of his time. This London-recorded follow-up from 1971 doesn't hit the same heights, aiming instead for a populist sound that might re-position him to take advantage of the burgeoning singer-songwriter boom. On the opening "Climb Up On My Music", the result is akin to a more cynical-sounding James Taylor, with biting barbs of lead guitar (Chris Spedding, perhaps?) snagging the acoustic guitar and electric piano arrangement. "A Most Disgusting Song" offers a spoken-blues depiction of urban detritus, but thereafter the album slips into a formula of folksy acoustic guitar embellished with strings. But Rodriguez's ambitiously florid imagery sustains one's interest, with flashes of acid poetry alongside expressions of social concern like the advice given to "Street Boy", "you need love and understanding, not that dead-end life you're planning". All still true.
Download this: "Climb Up On My Music", "A Most Disgusting Song", "Sandrevan Lullaby – Lifestyles", "It Started Out So Nice", "Street Boy"