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22 November 2016

Arthur Vaughan-Richards’ album review

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Arthur R2 2002

ARTHUR VAUGHAN-RICHARDS

****
Rhythm Of The Raindrops
Prior to uprooting to Mallorca at the turn of the century and his later formation of Island Monkey,  Arthur – who suffered an early death last May – had been very much part of the Brighton scene via his energetic fronting of various outfits, most notably Orishirishi. Through the console skills of longtime associate (and University of Sussex professor) Robbie Shilliam and veteran producer Rob Boughton, the first of possibly two CD memorials to him showcases fourteen self-compositions forged both as a solo entertainer and with his groups. While the vaguely Dylanesque opening salvo, ‘Let In Some Change’, suggests otherwise, most of the remaining content wavers and springs between designs originated in Africa and the West Indies. Dealing with both political and personal relationships, the songs per se have a tendency to seem gratuitously wordy upon first acquaintance, and he hammers certain hook-lines slightly too hard – as instanced by subdued ‘Impossible Love’ and – though screaming out to be a spin-off single – ‘Airport’. Nevertheless, a half-hidden quirkiness and, more obviously, an all-pervading vibrancy rides roughshod over arguable faults, and you’re left pondering what might have followed had fate not extinguished such a unique talent.
Alan Clayson

 

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