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on May 7, 2010
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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on April 9, 2011
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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on November 18, 2010
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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on January 28, 2011
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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on October 16, 2010
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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on August 1, 2010
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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on December 9, 2010
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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on December 9, 2010
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.

Strangely, after a few years of finding it hard to find an album I could enjoy as a complete album (like, say "Raindogs"), despite the fact that this isn't an overtly hook-laden collection somehow this album has really drawn me in - the songs are strong, but I think it's also the likeable, world-weary character of Nathaniel himself that pulls off that trick.

Finally, it's hard not to point to the closer* "You Make All the Noise", which is almost self-consciously Paul McCartney-ish. That in itself is a compliment: you couldn't even try to sound like McCartney unless you can pen a solid melody and carry a tune. Kudos.

* Curiously, the track listing of this album appears to be fluid. When I bought it some months ago, it didn't have Shroud on, but instead closed on "You Make All the Noise" (perfectly decent track), which now seems to have dropped off.
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on August 29, 2013
I had the pleasure of discovering Rateliff when he opened for Mumford just over a year ago. Hearing Laughing at the concert had me hooked and I knew I must find him when I got home. I bought this album, his album with Wheel and later Born in the Flood. I have never felt compelled to write a review for anyone in my life but Rateliff's music is nothing short of stellar to my ears. This album is rather eclectic, from Once in a Great While to Laughing to Brakeman. I highly recommend finding a song he did for the Lawrence classroom series called When Do You See (can also be found on Day Trotter) - one of my favorite songs.

I have listened to this album more than anything I have ever listened to and that is saying quite a lot. I didn't think anything would get more play time than over a decade of off and on listening to Ten by PJ but I think I have surpassed that in just one year of knowing about Rateliff.

He comes back to SLC in a few weeks and I have been counting the days since it was first announced; if only he were opening. I hope his set list is longer than last time.
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on October 13, 2014
Nathaniel Rateliff delivers something truly special with In Memory Of Loss. Sit back and just fall away to the music. His voice makes a wolverine purr. Lyrically the best writing i have ever heard. The man is simply brilliant. He will take your breathe away.
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