I think it safe to say that a majority of songwriters consider the process of constructing a song therapeutically cathartic. This was the case for Ripuarian who initially started writing songs as therapy and once he got enough under his belt he decided to make it official and release an album entitled Spiteful Travels. Spiteful Travels is eclectic batch of songs that are lyrically ambitious and sometimes humorous. He genre hops throughout the album and mixes rock, folk, pop and even a little bit of jazz.
Ripuarian’s vocals are something that needs to be talked about. The vocal delivery on this album is almost comedic at times. For example he sometimes is exaggerating and emphasizing certain sentences so much that it reminded me of the way Jack Black sings on Tenacious D. When Ripuarian sings “Well don't you worry I'm in no hurry To die to die to die But your finger it will linger to the sky to the sky to the sky” I couldn't tell if he was being serious or not.
The production on the album could be improved. The vocals in particular needed some treatment. Some much needed compression, EQing and some decent reverb would have gone a long way.
The album starts off with one of the better songs on the album, called “California,” which has some great horn work and solid percussion. It’s an upbeat number that had a good amount of energy that never lives up to its potential because of the production. “They Came Alone” is a slow, melancholy number played on an acoustic guitar. Ripuarian’s voice sounds good on this one despite a few moments that were sung out of key. “Treasurebound” is all over the place and sounded a bit like a show tune while the closing number “Lost In The Rain” showcases some of the best sounding horns and piano on the album.
Spiteful Travels is a solid album that is in need of better production. There are some good ideas coupled with decent songs that create a solid foundation for him to build upon.
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