When Nathaniel Rateliff was fronting Born in the Flood, his voice was strident, powerful and pensive. It was impressive, but not uniquely his own. On "Once in a Great While," the opening track of his Rounder debut, an unblemished near-falsetto croon introduces the world to the new and improved Nathaniel Rateliff, an artist with a voice that is unmistakably his own and capable of bending to fit any melody. Whether it be the shrill, almost inhuman wail belted out at the end of "You Should've Seen the Other Guy" or the Leonard Cohen-like somberness on tracks like "Brakeman" and "Longing and Losing," Rateliff's voice runs the gamut of emotions and tones, proving that no matter what voice he is using, it will always be compelling.
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