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In Memory of Loss

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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In Memory Of Loss
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Audio CD, May 4, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

The first things you notice are the voice and the space. That voice belongs to Nathaniel Rateliff, a man who's earned the twang and hard-knock weariness that shines through on his Rounder debut. The space comes courtesy of producer Brian Deck (Califone, Iron & Wine, Modest Mouse), who helped transform 8-track bedroom demos into miniature epics of contrast, beauty, and yearning. In Memory of Loss is a stunning, heartbreaking sonic document from a singer-songwriter who's made his way from a childhood in Bay, Missouri (pop. 60) to the national stage. Rateliff's debut album is rooted in a bygone era. It's both fresh and classic, imbued with a melancholy nostalgia, the rough candor of rock `n roll's past and the warmth and earnestness of folk storytellers. These thirteen tracks, with their soulful minimalism, hint of the music he grew up on - Van Morrison, Muddy Waters, The Beatles ­- yet Rateliff is also at home in what may be called, for lack of a better term, the neo-folk revival. His voice is so confident that you can occasionally imagine the music dropping out entirely, a song propelled solely by Rateliff's a capella strengths ­- equal parts church spiritual and TV On The Radio riffing on The Pixies. This persistent troubadour has struggled and persevered to this point. Now, the wider world is ready for Nathaniel Rateliff.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 4, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rounder / Pgd
  • ASIN: B003BJO8HI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,477 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
First, as a reference point, please read the Editorial Reviews, as this is spot on and I feel no need to be redundant. Like no other album in quite some time, from its first note, this album draws one in to it's winter by the fire atmosphere. This is not background music. It is music to sit back and fall into. Besides the influences mentioned in the editorial review, at times, I hear a bit of James Taylor's tone in Rateliff's vocals although his vocal register reaches lower. There's more than some Greg Brown as well, for those familiar with him. Also, while the sound is not as astonishing as the Trinity Sessions, the feel is much the same in many places. When he does rock out, I hear some M. Ward, Post War. Lovely, yet simple melodies abound. And, while there are more instruments at times, there's more than some Springsteen's Nebraska. Please, don't be misled by the numerous influences listed. Because, just like Springsteen, where the influences were just about every great rocker who preceded him, Rateliff possesses his own distinct voice and sensibility. This guy knows what he is doing! A great album by any standard.
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Format: Audio CD
After reading a brief interview with Rateliff in this months Q magazine I thought I'd give his album a try and I have to say I am thoroughly glad I did.

He offers up some well constructed and captivating acoustic music. Favourite tracks have to be `Early Spring Till' which has a wonderful chorus and sublime backing female backing vocals and `You Should've Seen the Other Guys' with it's beautiful acoustic guitar and harmonica.

This is definitely one of those albums that gets better with repeated listening and if, like me, you are impressed first time round, just wait until the 7th, 8th or 9th listen. Rateliff manages to give us beautiful music, intelligent lyrics and a unique feel that will have you hooked in no time and wanting more. This is one of my best finds of recent months and I heartily recommend it.

Feel free to check out the interview with Nathaniel on my blog, which can be found on my profile page.
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Format: Audio CD
What a refreshing album, something a bit different, mainly a great voice and acoustic guitar but with additional harmonies. lovely, a great late night record.
I had never heard of this guy but bought the LP on a website recommendation because the guy is like Gregory Alan Isakov and yes there is a similarity and also like the excellent Sumner Brothers (but more tuneful)
A truely melodic and soleful record with great melodies and a nice variation to every track and lots of pathos .
To be very honest the title of the album "in memory of loss" gives you a feel of the mood of the record, all in all a truely great Americana record probably one of my favourites this year along with John Grant's "Queen of Denmark", Johnny Flynn's "Been Listening" and Perry Keyes "Johnny Ray's Downtown" so highly recommended then!
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Format: MP3 Music
This album is the first I've heard of Nathaniel Rateliff, but I feel like I've known him awhile. He writes simply and beautifully--he's not using words that make little sense just because they rhyme, nor is he trying to impress you (but this is the very reason he does impress me). His simplicity is so refreshing that this is one of my few go-to albums when I come home from a long day. "Once in a great while" is somber and reflective, while "You should have seen the other guy" is just plain fun--his songs span different states of being, but they are woven together by simple guitar and genuine, refreshing lyrics. If you like the Avett Brothers, The Tallest Man on Earth, and Chris Knight, you'll find joy in Nathaniel Rateliff.
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Format: Audio CD
Nathaniel Rateliff has a wonderful voice and is an amazing lyricist, this album is so heartfelt and emotional. He tells such vivid stories that you feel as if you are right there watching the scenes unfold. Unfortunately there are no samples of his songs on here, but check him out on youtube- Early Spring Till, You Should've Seen the Other Guy, and Oil & Lavender. I would venture to say that Nathaniel Rateliff is going to be huge within the next few years, he is an amazing talent who rates right up there with Ray Lamontagne or Bon Iver. Beautiful album.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This album is great, it's mellow but not somber. Upbeat but not overpowering. I picked up his CD after seeing him open up at a concert and glad I did- I'm really surprised he isn't more popular.
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Format: MP3 Music
Mr. Rateliff is one of America's preeminent songwriters and this long-awaited debut is evidence of that. I agree with the other reviewer that Mr. Rateliff has worked for and deserves more attention than that which has been given him. But greatness is greatness and, eventually, Mr. Rateliff will no doubt shine.
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By R. Lister on December 9, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Nathaniel Rateliff is a really enjoyable performer: accidentally seeing his band play made this a must-buy for me. He also has a distinctive and compelling style: somewhere in the space between Simon and Garfunkel and Bonnie Prince Billy - spanning both their darkness and light, doubt and joy. "In Memory of Loss" is a lovable suite of low-key, late-night recordings, a perfect wind-down after a draining day; when you're alone; when you need nourishment or sympathy.

Nathaniel's voice is a supple instrument, carrying simple melodies well, although a lot of the greatest thrills come from impressive close harmony work with his band. Instrumentation is generally sparse, as are the lyrics: I really enjoy his clipped, conversational writing, delivering terse kiss-off lines like "I think / I'm going to."

Picking the highlights, "Brakeman" is a standout - jaunty and strong, guitar led, piano reinforced with shimmering harmonies: something you find yourself humming after three listens. It's also captures the strengths of Nathaniel and his band's approach.

There are many similarly paced tracks on here, and luckily one of the best is currently available on his site as a free download (Early Spring Till) - although that track will likely take a few listens to bed in. Some are more immediate: A Lamb on the Stone is an uncharacteristically perky thrum and Shroud stops you in your tracks with its powerful chorus and almost whispered verses. "You Should have Seen the Other Guy" is actually wryly amusing, dispelling the sense that Nathaniel might be a perpetual scowler.
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