Reviews:: Josh Rouse Country Mouse, City House

Josh Rouse is a busy man, and appears to be happier than ever before. He’s left the Nashville scene and lives in Europe. He’s found love and all of these things are coming out in his music. Gone are stories of drunken remorse, and in their place are floating riffs, meandering bass lines, jazzy horns and carefree, breezy subject matter. He’s experimenting with more and more instrumentation (no longer simply relying on his guitar work) and proudly acknowledging he’s influenced by that 70’s twang.

I have to admit, I’m digging the new Rouse. The energy is there. Handclaps, nice duets, harmonies and la-la-la’s. The summer vibe fits his new outlook and setting. He’s looking for the good things in life, instead of focusing on the bad. On London Bridge, he sums it all up with a simple line – “I will be the one to console her. I will be her ray of sun.” Even the slightly sad Nice To Fit In seems more like teenage angst as opposed to drunken despair, especially when the Bob James horn kicks in.

The Beatles-esque intro to the record’s first song, Sweetie, introduces new textures and sounds so patiently, you are drawn into his relaxed state of mind. The slide guitar arrives fashionably late, but is quickly the center of attention, and is nicely beefed up by a catchy bass line. You quickly notice that Rouse is resting heavily on the pop side of the alt-country pop genre he’s always thrown into.

Rouse tries his hand at funk (the heavy organ sound on Pilgram), syrupy AM radio ballads (Domesticated Lover ft. the lovely voice of writing partner and girlfriend, Paz Suay), and 70’s infused dance (Hollywood Bass Player plays like a Scissor Sisters song). It's infectious when you hear the loose string bass line hover in the background and lthe plunked piano/horn/guitar riff takes control of the dance floor.

Rouse is getting older, but seems to be taking much more enjoyment in his days. He sees he world in more colors and the end result is great. It’s nice to see an artist really loving what he does and who he’s around.
MP3:: Pilgram
MP3:: Hollywood Bass Player – via AOL Spinner

web site :: myspace :: more mp3


@ 7:17 PM, Robert kicked the following game:

I'm looking forward to this album. "She's Spanish, I'm American" was disappointing aside from "Car Crash," but it's great to see Rouse be as productive as he is. None of my other current favorites are as prolific as him.

 

@ 10:46 PM, Hi-Fi Heart kicked the following game:

I had no idea he had anything coming out soon. Thank you for bringing it to my attention! :)

 

@ 10:57 PM, Janice kicked the following game:

he was awesome tonight at the apple store!!! and yes, i really noticed there's a bit of a change in him, from last year where he played at battery park... tonight was a more relaxed, happier josh...and he put up the best show ever! =)

 

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