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Luke Ritchie - 'The Water's Edge'

by CoraOMalley
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on 24 July 2012 in Albums & EPs
Record Label Angel Falls Records / Proper Records
Rating 7/10

If you've been keeping up with Luke Ritchie over the previous two-and-a-half years, chances are you've already heard this album in some form. The 11 songs that comprise 'The Water's Edge' were chosen from 26 that he wrote in six months at the start of 2010. They were stripped-back, featuring only his soaring voice and an acoustic guitar. He planned to go it alone for the album release as well, but along the way, meetings with Nico Muhly and Paul Savage helped to shape the album. Even though it starts in a low-key manner with 'The Lighthouse', 'Shanty' follows it with a blast of uptempo folk-rock, before Ritchie throws the listener for a loop with the intricate guitar line that forms the foundations of 'Off Your Guard'. Not willing to be lumped in with the typical 'singer-songwriter' set, he gives 'Cover It Up' an unexpectedly funky twist, before displaying the full scope of his ambition with the beautiful, piano-led 'Words' - and so it goes on. Ritchie refuses to be pinned down by genre constraints, but the most refreshing thing about his debut album is how cohesive it all sounds. He doesn't do conventional, and this sort of approach definitely suits him.

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