There's a track on Love's classic 1967 'Forever Changes' album entitled "The good humor man he sees everything like this'. I thought of this song while listening to Rupert Wates' tenth solo album because he sounds like a glass half-full, good humor sort of guy.
This doesn't mean he sees the world through rose-tinted glasses, far from it. In biblical terms, lamentations are ways of learning the lessons of the past and they are usually associated with grief or sorrow.
The title tune is particularly melancholy in tone; it is a plea for mercy from someone imprisoned : "I beg them to feed me through the bars of a cell and I sing lamentations to heaven or hell".
Yet this is not representative of the mood of the album as a whole. The twelve original tunes are described as relating to "The carousel of joy and sorrow, birth and death, as seen through the eyes of a child."
It's the child's point of view which offers a saving grace because these are thoughtful, not morbid songs. For instance, life is likened to a merry-go-round in the opening tune - The Carnival Waltz - while California One invites us to follow the singer to a place "where the endless rivers run."
Even when the situation is more tense, as on Don't Leave Me Now, the pleading voice is couched in romantic terms such as you might find in a Jacques Brel tune. In any event, the closing song - I'll Never Tire Of Looking In Your Eyes - suggests that any sweet sorrow of parting is short-lived.
Recorded in a single evening, with no overdubs, and featuring only Wates’ voice and his guitar, the album captures the organic, intimate quality of a solo live performance.
The leisurely, charm of the his voice seductively lures the listener into his world where pleasure triumphs over pain and good humor is maintained.
Rupert Wates' website