Review of Richard Walters album The Animal
A short and sweet album invoking the lo-fi finesse seen in the first Iron and Wine record, Walters is a class act that speaks to us through songwriting. Using his fragile and very English voice he portrays a sense of vulnerability painted across the 10 tracks that make up The Animal.
Basically, if you like this sort of music, you'll really enjoy this. It's pretty. The instrumentation is sparse without being dull or plinky- there's a lot of variation too. Crawl Up To My Room, an early highlight, displaces the guitars with piano and strings as it builds to a rather striking crescendo. Walters himself has the vibrance of a Dangerfield as he steps lightly across the songs, harmonising wonderfully with himself in tracks like We Have Your Head. The title track is another stunner.
The only slight issue I have with the record is the overuse of reverb, especially on the earlier tracks. It sorts itself out a bit later on, as the album gets exponentially stronger. It's a grower, like so many good records this year, so give it a try and see how you feel.