Rhubarb - Anthology 98-08 (Independent) Some names inspire mystery and awe. Rhubarb isn't one of them. Rhubarb the band is one person: Edinburgh based guitarist-singer-songwriter Richard Haswell. Since 1998 he has released over 20 albums, and a large chunk of them are represented on this 37 track / 2 CD-r anthology.
Considering the time span and the wealth of material on offer, the sound and style remain consistent throughout. Haswell deals in folk nuanced melancholia and simple, fragile, uplifting, indie guitar pop. Nothing too taxing on the surface, but his words beguile and bewilder in equal measure, and without overstating his case, it's understandable how he commands the sort of respect amongst his small but loyal band of supporters, that is usually reserved for cult favourites like Simon Joyner and Paul Roland.
It almost seems pointless listing the titles and emphasising particular favourites, as different songs will mean different things to different people. If you're yet to dip your toes into the Rhubarb patch, then this is the obvious place to begin and although it wont be for everyone. The lack of gloss may well alienate some, but for those with open minds and in search of shelter from the corporate storm, it's definitely worth chasing down. 9/10.
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