Richard Walters - The Animal
“The Animal”, a title which suggests ferocity, roughness and strength, but this album in comparison is decidedly weak and Richard Walters appears anything but ferocious. However there is no denying this Oxford native is a rather musically talented, with vocals beautifully sung in falsetto tones and an impressive arrangement of piano, keyboard and guitar and instrumented by Walters himself.
With topics such as the loneliness of singledom and marital violence, Richard Walters is nothing short of eccentric, yet this is an album oozing talent; and from someone who has worked with the likes of Supergrass, The Cranberries and Imogen Heap and worked solo for over a decade, this album is a masterpiece which is well overdue.
Title track “The Animal” is balladesque with charming melodic vocals yet with a contrastingly slightly disturbed subject matter of domestic violence from the side of the abuser. It is undeniably a song you wouldn’t have heard anything similar too before. In fact the whole album took Richard Walters an entire three years to write and the result is that it documents a rather turbulent time with love, loss and violence. Consequential to this is an album which is filled with emotion, brimming with troubled thoughts and broken relationships. It is melodically beautifully and a charm to listen to, with differing tempos and anticipation throughout. During “True Love Will Find You In The End”, Walters leaves the listener in trepidation as he creeps through what is a surprisingly typical love ballad, but he still avoids all clichés as he delivers another unique song which appears delicately crafted.
It may have taken three long troublesome years to make, but the result is definitely worth it with a stark contrast between Walters’ gentle vocals and the disturbing subject matter and a stark contrast even apparent between the album title and the content of the album. However all these contrasts somewhat entwine, complimenting each other, creating a beautifully unique album which is almost removed from the reality of day to day life. It’s an album which is pure art and unlike anything you would have heard before. Tones of despair , longing and melancholy call you to give “The Animal” a listen.