Sixto Rodriguez: Searching For Sugar Man OST – album review

Sixto Rodriguez: ‘Searching For Sugar Man OST’ (Light In The Attic)
CD/DL/2XLP
Out: Now

In conjunction with the documentary of the same name comes the soundtrack which features the very best of the reclusive singer. 

His is a tale the like of which Hollywood would be hard pushed to create. After flirting with success in the late sixties, Sixto Rodriguez never really reached the levels of acclaim that his music warranted. It was an unjustified outcome, as his protest folk, littered with tales of drug abuse, roustabouts and unrequited love stand alongside the great voices of the era. Largely ignored by the British and American press until recently, his music gained a large following in Australia and Southern Africa.

Now 70, Rodriguez has enjoyed considerable resurgence in popularity throughout the last decade; partially as a result of a website which was set up to track down the mysterious singer. ”ËœThe Great Rodriguez Hunt‘ was established by a journalist named Craig Bartholomew along with a fan called Stephen ”ËœSugar’ Segermen. They were successful in their search and the newly established communication led to a sell-out South African tour in 1998. Irish soundtrack genius David Holmes, always one for rooting out rare and obscure soul, jazz and folk records, arranged for Rodriguez to re-record his anthem ”ËœSugar Man’ alongside a 30 piece orchestra.

This year, filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul released a gloriously well received documentary entitled ”ËœSearching for Sugar Man‘, which chronicles Sixto’s rise through, and subsequent disappearance from, the music circuit. It examines the hunt and resurrection of the artist as an icon and features extensive footage of the man in question.

In conjunction with the movie, Light in the Attic have released a coinciding soundtrack, which serves as a fantastic introduction to those who are (or have been up until recently) unfamiliar with his work. Given that Rodriguez only ever released two albums (”ËœCold Fact’ in 1970 and ”ËœComing from Reality’ the following year) there is little on offer here that existing fans will not already possess, however, the sound quality on this release is enough to warrant a purchase, even if you do already own the individual records. The focus of this release is definitely geared towards exposing Rodriguez to a new audience, which is definitely a positive thing.

Rodriguez’s music has a timeless, classic feel to it which amalgamates many different styles, influences and genres. His lyrics are socially aware and even resonate with the same degree of relevance that they did over 40 years ago. From the spurned lover that contemplates his partner’s sexual history in ”ËœI wonder’, to the degenerates that permeate ”ËœA Most Discusting Song’ (sic). His characters are vivid, his delivery is pure and it’s a beautiful thing to know that for the foreseeable future, he will not be music’s best kept secret anymore.

Rodriguez tours the UK and Ireland in November. Dates are available HERE

Watch: Rodriguez ‘Sugar Man’ Live on Letterman

All words by Colin McCracken. You can read more of his Louder Than War articles HERE
He writes about movies HERE and lurks about on Twitter HERE

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Colin McCracken is an Irish writer and cinematic obsessive who writes extensively about movies on a daily basis for his website Zombiehamster.com. He is equally passionate about vinyl (he used to run an independent record store), literature, live music and film soundtracks. He can also be found regularly on twitter as @zombiehamster.

3 COMMENTS

  1. […] A review of the soundtrack, which I wrote for Louder Than War can be found HERE. […]

  2. […] A review of the soundtrack, which I wrote for Louder Than War  […]

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