Scottish folkie Alasdair Roberts first popped up on my radar with the release of fourth full-length “Spoils” back in 2009. I was instantly enamored with his thick Scottish burr, and liberal use of glockenspiel, harpsichord and baroque guitar — and have follows his career closely ever since.
Roberts peaked (at least so far) with the 2013 release of “A Wonder Working Stone,” a jaw-droppingly good collection of original tunes that remains in rotation on my iPod more than two years after its release. Needless to say, I had high hopes for his self-titled follow-up. And while the 10-track platter is nowhere close to a flop, it pales in comparison to Roberts’ best work.
That said, there are some tasty nuggets to be found here. “Honour Song” and “The Problem of Freedom” merit multiple spins, and Roberts also scores with “The Final Diviner,” “In Dispraise of Hunger” and “This Uneven Thing.” I have no doubt my expectations were too high for this album, but I will always expect more from artists as talented as Alasdair Roberts. (Jeffrey Sisk)