The Secretly Canadian Newsletter

Richard Swift’s sophomore release “Dressed Up For The Letdown” seems to symbolically call for an end to the age of overdub onslaughts and overrated studio trickery that have been plaguing records since the advent of the ADAT. After all… Sly Stone didn’t quantize Luv N’ Haight; in 1969, Crosby Stills and Nash weren’t Helplessly Hoping auto-tune would be invented; and there’s no doubt in my mind that whoever is responsible for the tambourine on Bob Dylan’s Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35 had gotten stoned (as suggested). Why bring this up? Because each of the aforementioned songs have remained steadfast against the hourglass sands, regardless of the lack of digital editing employed during their respective recordings. You can just smell it in the air, can’t you? You know, the unmistakable fragrance of the impending societal revolt against the modern milquetoast manifestations of “art”? or is it just me? I mean, who among us found themselves wishing George Lucas was poor again, whilst miserably enduring the Star Wars prequels? I see those hands. Sure, it looked cool… sort of… Personally I’d take Clockwork Orange any day over this green-screen nonsense.

And herein lies the point: just because you can, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. In the spirit of this truth Richard Swift has confidently composed yet another original masterpiece; employing an archaic attitude of tempered restraint on a fresh collection of ten songs, without appearing shamelessly retro or kitschy. Playing a vast majority of the instruments on “Dressed Up” himself, by virtue Swift has created something that is characteristically his. And considering his rough-around-the-edges exterior, one could rightly assume that Swift desires the listener to accept him as an ordinary honest man with some honest songs — unmasked blemishes and all. Yet when one engages with Swift on this narrow-road-less-traveled, one immediately ignores the subtle imperfections shadowed by the all-consuming white light of well-crafted pop songs in an analog heaven. In effect he’s saying, “Just listen to my songs… the riffraff in the background is inconsequential.” Sure Swift… whatever you say.

Dare I say fans of “The Richard Swift Collection Vol. 1” will not feel “Dressed Up For The Letdown”, as Swift leads the faithful further into a melancholic world draped with colorful sonic landscapes.


Dressed Up For The Letdown

The Songs Of National Freedom

Most Of What I Know

Buildings In America

Artist & Repertoire

Kisses For The Misses

P.S. It All Falls Down

Ballad Of You Know Who

The Million Dollar Baby

The Opening Band