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‘Tearing at the Seams’ review: Nathaniel Rateliff’s potent soul/Americana mix

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats'

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats' "Tearing at the Seams" is on the Stax label. Photo Credit: Stax

NATHANIEL RATELIFF & THE NIGHT SWEATS

“Tearing at the Seams”

BOTTOM LINE Growing into the best band of vintage soul-rockers around.

Look, there is no “S.O.B. (Part Two)” on this album. But Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats don’t need it.

While that joyous, hand-clapping ode to alcohol withdrawal was sharp enough to make people pay attention, the band’s sophomore album “Tearing at the Seams” (Stax / Concord) will have no problem building an even broader audience.

Rateliff’s stirring, soulful vocals shine even more now, whether he is channeling Otis Redding on “Coolin’ Out” or updating The Band on “Say It Louder.”

The Night Sweats’ combination of soul and Americana is addictive in pretty much all its permutations, but especially on the gorgeous “Still Out There Running,” which ropes some poetic Paul Simon phrasing into the mix. The first single “You Worry Me” has already returned the band to the top of the adult alternative charts, with the horn-tinged rock song seemingly poised to become another crossover hit.

“Tearing At the Seams” is potent enough to return Rateliff & The Night Sweats to the spotlight to stay, not as the unexpected beneficiaries of a novelty hit, but as one of Americana’s brightest new stars. As Rateliff repeatedly belts out in the title track, “They’re gonna have to drag us away.”

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