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5 out of 5
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Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2017
Anyone who has ever had the privilege of listening to Rupert Wates’ music—particularly in a live performance—knows the journey of emotions on which he can take you. In this intelligently written album Wates invites the listener to join him on another sort of journey; one of two lovers and their path together. The story begins with “The Green and Goodly Valley” in which a betrothal is made to the tune of something right out of the 1500’s. The story progresses into the exceptionally written tale of “Sundance and Etta (True Love Never Dies)”, the tale of two outlaw lovers fighting convention and living their lives free and always on the edge. As the story teller admits his fear of commitment, he realizes this is the lover who will help ease his “Fear of Flying” and is the clear declaration of his love. “Lady Grey” is the tale of a lover pledging to stay when his love confesses distress at the ravages of age. The analogy of spring renewal for all beautiful things on earth and lack of this renewal for his lover as age descends is beautifully written with true sincerity. There is no question that this album is filled with extraordinary writing but for me, the most moving is “Further Down the Road”. It is perfectly placed as the last selection on the album which leaves the listener thoughtful. I am never drawn to love songs and don’t generally bother with them. This is always because I don’t generally believe them. Rupert Wates is a gifted musician and as a lyricist is second to none. I believed him.