Richard Walters returns with the fantastic Regret Less. Having already become a feature on American prime-time shows like Grey’s Anatomy, released brilliantly received albums and wowed many an audience with his music, it is surprising but welcome that the Oxford-based song-smith has produced another refreshing, unique record.
It begins in exquisite fashion with ‘King of Leaves’. A series of powerful statements (my favourite being “I am Brian Wilson’s baby”) are a testimony to how assured Walters has become within his music. He tells us that “You will know me when I come”. Well if this opener is anything to go by, I’d say he has already arrived. My favourite thing about Richard Walters is his voice. There are no flourishes or theatrics; just purity and clarity. There is a beautiful simplicity to his voice that really helps to bring the emotion he has put into his songs to life.
The album is littered with songs that could be successful singles. The sound Walters creates is extremely current and songs like the upbeat, romantic number, ‘Blossom’ and the edgy ‘Walk Softly Stranger’ are brilliant examples of the type of indie sound that is thriving right now.
Richard Walters is probably at his best when he is singing about heartache and loss. One of the highlights on Regret Less is the haunting, heartbreaking ‘Tethered’. The beautiful sympathetic strings perfectly accompany Walters’ candid, poignant lyrics and his voice has never sounded better. ‘The Escape Artist’ and ‘Pedal Steel’ are other excellent showcases of Walters’ honest, thoughtful lyricism.
The two closing numbers are further reminders of Richard Walters’ ability to produce thought-evoking songs. ‘Snowdrifts’ tells the story of universal heartbreak in an eerie, yet breathtaking manner and ‘Regretless’ brings the album to an end with a moving sense of optimism, urging everyone who listens to “let it all go”. It’s as if Walters has unloaded all of his burdens in this stunning finale. Vulnerable, haunting, gorgeous and sincere are just some adjectives to associate with Regret Less. Richard Walters has yet again produced a masterpiece.
Words: Carly Goodman