The film festival hit Searching for Sugar Man tells the tale of Sixto Rodriguez, whose early 70s folk-pop releases bombed in America but made him a Dylanesque cult figure among liberal whites in apartheid-era South Africa.
Rodriguez has a gift for personal, often confrontational work in a style somewhere between Dylan and Cat Stevens – Like Janis, This Is Not A Song, It’s An Outburst and the low-life black humour of A Most Disgusting Song stand up well alongside any Age of Aquarius acoustic anthems.
I Wonder, Can’t Get Away and Inner City Blues show that he was no slouch at soul-pop either, but he got a bit nonsensical when he was having a hippie hangover in numbers like Cause.
The slightly cheesy early 70s production is a bonus, especially when he’s throwing in strings, brass, and the sci-fi synth flourishes of Sugar Man.
Best tracks: This Is Not A Song, It’s An Outburst, A Most Disgusting Song.
- Reviews by Nick Ward; CDs for review from Everyman, Nelson.
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