By Rupert Stroud
Now that more music than ever is being downloaded and the tangibility of a CD is becoming less frequent, it is really refreshing to get an album that has had so much thought put into the artwork. Rupert Stroud's second album 'Chasing the Night' is wonderful in the continuity of its presentation. The website, the album sleeve, even the styling of the photographs has a 50's jukebox feel to it.
Rupert has the label of singer/songwriter but there is much more than the expected acoustic guitar and driving vocals. Producer Will Jackson (The Pigeon Detectives, The Cribs) has effortlessly blended a mix of country, rock and folk, all linked together with Rupert's strong voice that fits perfectly with the instrumentation used and lyrical sentiment. Hurt, hope and happiness are all on show.
On songs like 'hate to say' there is an emotive and tender quality to the vocals, enriched by the fact they are not overly produced or manipulated. When the songs call for it Rupert is able to reflect the darkness in the lyrics with melancholic, echoing harmonies such as on 'no love lost'.
Rather than having as many instruments thrown onto the songs in the hope they might bring something to it, it seems as though each instrument has been specifically picked for each moment. Whether it's a handclap on 'Human Politics' or a female vocal on '40 days and 40 nights' each ingredient is in exactly the right place and in the right amounts.
This is a project where every element has been well thought out and a clear sense of identity has been imprinted on every aspect.