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Rafa Russo - This Strange Place

  by Steve Kinrade

published: 26 / 3 / 2019

Rafa Russo - This Strange Place
Label: Scratchy Records
Format: CD


Reflective and atmospheric album from London-based m singer-songwriter Rafa Russo who is also an award-winning screenplay writer

It seems that Rafa Russo is a man of many talents - musician, auteur, and scriptwriter on as many projects as he has released albums. The music entered the artistic world first, with 1990’s 'A Petrified Forest', but then took something of a backseat when 'Twice Upon A Yesterday' won Best Screenplay at the 1998 Montreal Festival…. This latest offering from the maestro is something of a mature, reflective work, which is something you would come to expect from a man who has seen 57 summers. At its very best it evokes the spirit of American Music Club, which is no bad thing whatsoever. Russo has a yearning quality to his voice, which again is appropriate for the themes that he is examining. There is also a cinematic quality to the compositions, something that you expect taking into account his accomplishments in cinema, the main examples being 'Windshielded Sky' and 'Empty Chair', the former featuring quite ethereal guest vocals from Marianna Gramunt. The production is subtle and sympathetic - again the slow musical build with 'Empty Chair'. From many of the impressive tracks contained with the album, to these ears Throwaway Days is the probable standout, both musically and lyrically - “I’m not even your second choice, you’re not even mine”. The three elements of music, lyric and vocal convey so much of regret and yearning that is so cathartic. Goosebumps time. The album was released on March 1st 2019, just in time to travel alongside spring into summer, and then, as is the natural order of things, to eventually winter. Russo’s 'Summertime' evokes the transition perfectly, how the seasons come and go, just like feelings, relationships and emotions. 'This Strange Place' examines the within and without, and evokes the inner spirit beautifully. Accomplished.

Track Listing:-
1 Half A Chance
2 Beautiful Stranger
3 Something Like Home
4 Grey
5 Throwaway Days
6 Summertime
7 Empty Chair
8 Windshielded Sky
9 On The Side
10 You Crossed My Mind
11 The Beginning Of The End
12 Where Do You Go

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