Che Albrighton / Roye Albrighton

The Follies of Rupert Treacle

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Nektar's lead guitarist has had a very quiet career outside his band. He had 35 years of musical activity behind him when he released his first solo album, The Follies of Rupert Treacle. Self-produced and completely recorded at home on Cubase MIDI software with a guitar-synth (used even for drum programming), the album came out privately in 1999 through the group's fan club and received an official release in 2002 (as Albrighton's profile was rising due to Nektar's reunion). A semi-concept album, The Follies of Rupert Treacle revolves around the colorful title character, an elf sandman that is every child's best friend. This concept is to be understood as a very loose one, since eight out of ten tracks are instrumental. The opener, "Sandman," stands out as the best piece. Albrighton's vocal delivery is still convincing, the melody uplifting, and the arrangements inventive (watch the bassline) despite a certain unsteadiness in the rhythm track -- something that is not as detectable in the other pieces. "You're Not Alone," the other vocal track, fails to rise beyond its mushy ballad theme. The instrumental tunes are all vehicles for Albrighton's guitar work. Except for a couple of them ("The Follies," "Pass the Fuzz"), more upbeat and flashy, the music remains in a light jazz-rock/instrumental vein that betrays a cruel lack of depth in the songwriting. Some themes (like "The Stranger") can bring to mind Fonya with a slightly sedated Allan Holdsworth guesting. Not fantastic and surely not the album fans were waiting for, this one is for the completist.

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