Print, Reviews December 5, 2018

Album Review: Anthony Ruptak – A Place That Never Changes

by Ryan Murphy

It’s a testament to community that Anthony Ruptak’s A Place That Never Changes even exists at all. After releasing three EPs between 2011 and 2015, the Colorado singer/songwriter was in the midst of recording what would become his first full-length record when the home he shares with girlfriend was broken into and ransacked. The culprits made off with nearly every instrument he owned, the song books containing the ideas that would become these recordings and, worst of all, every dollar he had saved to finish producing it.

But what happened next was perhaps even more shocking. Ruptak’s friends in the music community took immediate action, raising not just thousands of dollars to replace the money he had lost, but by also providing every instrument and piece of equipment he needed to realize his vision—which was a lot. Ruptak played sixteen different instruments on the record, from guitars and banjos to synthesizers and various woodwinds. And that doesn’t even cover the myriad drum and percussion textures provided throughout by his brother, Matt, or the orchestral flourishes arranged by FaceMan’s David Thomas Bailey that weave in-and-out of the patient and rewarding 57-minute production. 

Anthony and Matt Ruptak at The UMS in Denver, 2018

In a musical era defined by digital austerity, A Place That Never Changes is a powerful ode to maximalism, a carefully layered production of towering melodies and micro-cacophonies that cede just the right amount of space for Ruptak’s searing lyrical attack. The songwriter captures 2018 America’s prevailing feelings of confusion, anxiety and dread — touching on subjects ranging from toxic masculinity, racial animus, and mass shootings. Ruptak looks you straight in the eye and delivers a lyrical call-to-action so earnest and sincere, one can’t help but wonder if A Place That Never Changes isn’t the quintessential record for this moment.

A Place That Never Changes premieres exclusively via Friday, December 7 – Ruptak performs Thursday, December 6 at Magic Rat in Fort Collins and Saturday, December 8 at The Hi-Dive in Denver.

Featured photo of Anthony Ruptak by George L. Blosser.