Rupert Wates – Lamentations

Album Review | Bite Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson

The twelve new songs that make up Lamentations, the tenth album release from the British-born, now New York-based singer songwriter Rupert Wates, whose fragile voice and delicate finger-picked guitar have something of the Nick Drake about them, looks at the cycle of life, from birth to death, dedicating the opening song “The Carnival Waltz” to his own newborn son Gabriel.  Recorded in just one evening, much in keeping with a live recording, Lamentations has an intimate feel throughout, full of warmth and sensitivity, with just that little extra spark of something else, something difficult to describe but easy to understand once you hear it.  In places reminiscent of such performers as Antony Hegarty, Steve Tilston and Tom Baxter, the songs have a dream-like quality that makes repeated plays essential, certainly “California One”, “In Time of Breaking” and the title song “Lamentations”. Though the cover shot and accompanying photos celebrate the beauty of motherhood, the Old Guitarist Picasso pastiche that fronts the accompanying booklet, expresses precisely what you hear in these songs.