Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats - Album review

Download: I Need Never Get Old; S.O.B.; Wasting Time; Shake

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The Independent Culture

Formerly better known as the proponent of melancholy alt.folk, Nathaniel Rateliff here makes a significant stylistic volte face to become a soul shouter – one whose aptitude is signalled by this album’s appearance on Stax Records.

Produced by Richard Swift, it hums with deep-soul conviction, from the Sam & Dave-style belter “Trying So Hard Not To Know” to the country-soul wail of “Wasting Time”, with pedal-steel guitar tracking the singer’s reflection on the pointlessness of reflection.

Opener “I Need Never Get Old” sounds like a Southside Johnny outtake, with burring horns buttressing the stolid stomp-beat. The sluggish groove “Howling At Nothing” echoes Sam Cooke, while there are hints of Dr John in “Shake”. A varied arsenal of approaches, but barely a mis-step.