Posted by: will | November 28, 2006

Ris Paul Ric

Ris Paul Ric “Purple Blaze” (Academy Fight Song)

Buy it at Insound!

This is an album that technically came out in 2005. It’s an album that has gone completely under the radar for the most part. That’s a damn shame cause it’s a fascinating journey into the mind of a very talented musician. ChRIS PAUL RIChards was in the amazing indie rock band Q And Not U. The band put out three critically-acclaimed albums before deciding to head their seperate ways. Richards is the first to move on and if Purple Blaze is any indication, he’s probably been thinking about the solo thing for quite some time.

The story behind this record is an interesting one. Richards wrote and recorded these tracks and then had friend Tim Hecker who is known for his ambient music add to the recordings. What comes out is an interesting record that sounds wonderfully organic. The title track, “Purple Blaze” starts off the album on as high as a note as one can. It’s a beautiful track that echoes Different Damage-era Q And Not U which was the band’s most experimental work. The stream-of-concious lyrics of Richards are quite addictive here. The next track, “Hanging From The Grapevines” is another fantastic track with Richard’s vocals seemingly floating above the music. “Run Up Wild On Me” sees Richards trying to step into Michael Jackson/Prince territory and it’s a surprisingly strong song which sounds like what Justin Timberlake might sound like had he grown up on indie rock. The music here is rather simple. Mostly acoustic guitar with several different instrumental flourishes. Hecker’s production work adds quite a bit to these songs yet he never distracts from Richard’s songwriting. The slow burning “Colonialism” and the dancy “The Sleeparound” are other highlights on Purple Blaze. Frenetic album closer “Daft Young Cannibals” ends the record on the same high note that the title track started it with. There are several ambient, instrumental songs that probably could have been left off. They are nice but all they really accomplish is to break up the comfortable flow of the album. That’s only a small complaint though.

Richards has created a fascinating record with Purple Blaze. It is difficult to compare this album to anything current. Richards definitely experiments with a wide array of moods and textures here. That’s why it is so surprising how accesible and downright catchy Purple Blaze is at times. It is an album that has me excited for what Richards might have up his sleeve in the future.

RIYL: Q And Not U, Holopaw, Beck


Ris Paul Ric – Purple Blaze (mp3)

Ris Paul Ric – Run Up Wild On Me (mp3)


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