And It’s Still Alright

And It’s Still Alright

Following a divorce and the death of his close friend and collaborator Richard Swift, Nathaniel Rateliff steps away from The Night Sweats for a set of solo ballads that’s at turns mournful and playful, understated and warm. It’s not unfamiliar territory—before landing at the extroverted soul of The Night Sweats, Rateliff had explored more somber territory on his own, most recently with 2010’s In Memory of Loss. Here, he channels Harry Nilsson (“Expecting to Lose”) and Leonard Cohen (the hymn-like “Tonight #2”), looks inward (“You Need Me”) and outward (the weary “All or Nothing,” which features the barb “I want back from you all the hours that I cowered/While you corrected everything I’d say”). But more than anything, he grieves: Much of And It’s Still Alright was recorded at Swift’s home studio in Oregon just months after he died in 2018, and the late producer/singer-songwriter’s influence can be felt throughout, from ambience to lyrical reference. “All the love and cries could not shake you from your rest,” he sings on the six-minute closer “Rush On,” over little more than a guitar. “Would’ve given you my sight to take the jaundice from your skin.”


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