Alasdair Roberts: Alasdair Roberts review – droll, pungent and lovely

(Drag City)

It’s odd for an eighth solo album to be self-titled, but the prolific Scots singer has never taken an orthodox approach, while this collection of originals arrives after a slew of collaborations and covers of traditional ballads. It’s personal, even if its songs come draped in antique lyricism – only Roberts would refer to a love affair as “courting” and “an uneven thing”. His reedy vocals aren’t for everyone, but his twisting melodies and cryptic imagery remain a delight, with his guitar ably supported by woodwind and, on In Dispraise of Hunger, a vocal quartet. By turns droll, pungent and lovely, it deserves more than a lo-fi production.


Neil Spencer

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Alasdair Roberts: Pangs review – folk that rocks
(Drag City)

Neil Spencer

26, Feb, 2017 @8:00 AM

Alasdair Roberts & Robin Robertson: Hirta Songs – review
This stripped-down hymn to St Kilda transports Neil Spencer

Neil Spencer

10, Nov, 2013 @12:05 AM

Article image
Alasdair Roberts: 'I've always been drawn to heavy, big old ballads' | Interview

Scottish folk musician Alasdair Roberts finds catharsis in singing murder ballads, he tells Tim Adams

Tim Adams

07, Aug, 2010 @11:05 PM

Article image
Shirley Collins/Alasdair Roberts/Trembling Bells – review
Shirley Collins hasn't sung live for 30 years and is tonight's star turn in this celebration of folk songs old and new, writes Jude Rogers

Jude Rogers

01, Nov, 2010 @10:31 PM

Article image
Olivia Chaney: The Longest River review – an enchanting, stately creation
The singer-songwriter’s beautifully spare debut was well worth the wait

Neil Spencer

12, Apr, 2015 @7:00 AM

Hawk to the Hunting Gone review – You Are Wolf present English avant-folk at its finest
Kerry Andrew's adventurous debut album as You Are Wolf is a multilayered treat, writes Neil Spencer

Neil Spencer

10, May, 2014 @11:04 PM

Rock review: Alasdair Roberts, Spoils

Part-Incredible String Band, part- Lal Waterson,
but mostly magnificently unique writres Colin Irwin

Colin Irwin

18, Apr, 2009 @11:07 PM

Article image
Video: Alasdair Roberts - How I wrote Farewell Sorrow

The Scottish folk singer talks us through the title track from his 2003 album and gives an exclusive live performance

Ben Kape and Andy Gallagher

05, Aug, 2010 @11:26 AM

Pop review: Alasdair Roberts: Spoils

Alasdair Roberts's latest is a mix of lively jigs and dense fable, says Katie Toms

Katie Toms

25, Apr, 2009 @11:01 PM

Article image
Graham Coxon, Olivia Chaney, Alasdair Roberts and others: Shirley Inspired review – starry Shirley Collins tribute
Released in part to raise funds for a film about folk star Shirley Collins, this triple-album tribute features a remarkable cast of players

Robin Denselow

16, Apr, 2015 @5:45 PM