Josh Rouse

(Bedroom Classics 2006)Josh Rouse - Subtitulo

Josh Rouse is a folk-pop singer-songwriter originally from Nebraska. His latest release, "Subtitulo," is a masterful work with enough musical variety to appeal to both musicians and casual music fans.

"Quiet Town" opens the album as a delightfully even paced tune with acoustic guitar picking and a tasteful string arrangement rising up in the background. "Summertime" sounds like a John Mayer song with its similar virtuoso guitar style coupled with a jazzy melody. Unsurprisingly, Mayer has betrayed himself in interviews as a fan, so it's probable that he is the one who has been influenced by Rouse.

"It Looks Like Love" opens with a piano playing what sounds like jazz chords and soars with both melodically satisfying verses and a soaring refrain. Variety is certainly the element in this album that keeps it evolving, and without losing the interest of the listener. Just to witness all the changes in pace and style is enough to remind one of how the predictability of other albums is usually what ruins them. "La Costa Blanca" is a guitar led instrumental, which is impressively distinctive considering the lyrical focus with the other songs. "Jersey Clowns" is a melancholy reflection with lyric subject matter similar to Springsteen, with all of his stories of hanging out with friends in Jersey. "Givin' It Up" is probably the finest song on the entire album, with its swelling string arrangement announcing a delightfully catchy melody, which corresponds directly with the refrain. It is a joyous pronouncement of sobriety and all the accompanying feelings of newfound confidence.

The rest of this album flows by nicely with heartfelt choruses and astute reflections on lessons learned with experience. Give it a chance.


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