Richard Youngs
Sapphie


4.5
superb

Review

by Ball's USER (2 Reviews)
September 30th, 2007 | 17 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist


Throughout the history of recorded music, there has been an infinite amount of artists that gently slip under the radar. Most notable of the modern breed are the outsiders of acoustic-wielding songsmiths; the John Faheys, Simon Finns, Bert Janschs and Nick Drakes of the popular music canon. These musicians will all more than likely pass away into obscurity (If they were not already born into it), only for their music to be rediscovered by later generations of music fans.

Hailing from Scotland via Cambridge, Richard Youngs is just one more unsung artist; a multi-instrumentalist whose prolific output includes collaborations with the enigmatic outsider Jandek, Matthew Bowe and Makota Kawabata, among others. His music displays a scholarly understanding of improvisation and appreciation of all things musical, as he acts upon his own free will to create something of his choosing.

Made in the memory of a pet Alsatian, Sapphie is perhaps Youngs' most traditional and 'pop-oriented' album; here, he abandons his avant-garde leanings in favor of just three long pieces for nylon-stringed guitar and voice. The production gives a sense of intimacy to each song, as if the music is being played out in your mind. Abundant use of vocal reverb seems to give Youngs' voice a certain 'floating' quality while his cheap classical guitar provides a more earthly counterpoint.

From the beginning acoustic pluckings of "Soon it Will Be Fire," it becomes obvious that this is an album of nostalgia and heartbreak. Youngs slowly lets out each word in his distinctly British accent, over hypnotic arpeggios that seem to dance around each syllable. He only deviates from this pattern when the echo of his voice gently fades away, allowing the fingerpicked strings room to breathe. The following two pieces slow down the pace, bringing Sapphie to even more saddening points. Youngs delivers the first instance of semi-intelligible lyrics, as he moans out phrases such as "And the future isn't anything" that despite appearing to have no meaning, convey much of what Richard Youngs seems to feel.

The eighteen minute "The Graze of Days" closes out the album at a crawling pace; instead of a constant flow of sounds, Youngs utilizes periods of silence and emptiness. This creates a wearisome, tired feeling, only to be brought back to attention and left once more to the castaway sounds. With Sapphie, Richard Youngs collected these castaway sounds and created a masterpiece in the process. Seldom will you come across an album with such bare honesty and drifting loneliness as this, and if you do - feel very sorry for its creator.


user ratings (37)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2007


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great first review you'll be a contributer in no time

Yyy
September 30th 2007


289 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice soundoff!

plane
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2007


6094 Comments


you are better than us.

ohcleverhansyou
October 1st 2007


885 Comments


My, that introduction leaves much to be desired. But the pun in the next line makes up for it.

Yyy
October 1st 2007


289 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

what

ohcleverhansyou
October 1st 2007


885 Comments


I don't know anymore. Good short review though.This Message Edited On 10.01.07

Neoteric
October 4th 2007


3243 Comments


omg I live near Cambridge.

La Revolucion
November 17th 2007


1060 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Incredibly emotional album. I dig.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2008


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

amazing.

iarescientists
July 25th 2008


5863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i'm hungry

Myrrhman
August 13th 2008


83 Comments


me too i had some toast but i'm not so sure now

kattunlover69
August 13th 2008


1194 Comments


ya man i just made some brownies...you know the ones where you mix in two eggs some water and veggy oil...lemme get the box i forgot the rbandname......ya betty cocker...you know the powerderd brownies...ya man i left it in the oven for like 30 mins that just came out good as i heck, i forgot to spray down the pan so the brownies is like suck to the pan sort of (which sucks) but you know...i took some brownies off the cooking pan and put it in a rubber maid container then i put it in the fridge so it will stay fresh for tommorow when i wake up hehe.

joshuatree
Emeritus
October 18th 2008


3742 Comments


albums so good

joshuatree
Emeritus
August 28th 2010


3742 Comments


ugh the graze of days is ridiculous, haven't checked this in way too long

RCKilm
March 28th 2011


232 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

a fullness of light

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
September 17th 2013


3768 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well this is nice.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Chortles
July 28th 2014


17957 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album is incredible



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