Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Reviews:: She's Spanish, I'm American

Josh Rouse has certainly been inspired by a change of scenery and the love of a good woman. His last record – Subtitulo – was influenced greatly by his move to Spain. Focusing on a slower lifestyle and the changes of living abroad made Subtitulo a refreshing addition to his catalog. It also featured a duet with his girlfriend Paz Suay. The Man Who Doesn’t Know How to Smile was a Girl from Ipanema-ish ditty that really fit perfectly with the vibe of the record.

So well in fact that Paz and Josh recorded a little 5-song EP under the obvious moniker, She’s Spanish, I’m American. The EP is a collection of stories backed by surprisingly up-tempo, electro-ish beats. Assuming they are still enjoying living in small towns, it’s easy to see why these sounds are easily described as breezy and light.

From the opening seconds of Car Crash, it's quite obvious that this isn't your standard Josh Rouse record. Josh and Paz’s voices work well together and the decision to move away from simple acosutic picked riffs was a good one. Instead, Rouse and Suay use electric guitar noodles, orchestration, harmonies and drums to set the tone. It’s funny, but even as they sing about a friend with 5 DUIs on Jon Jon, you still smile and bounce along with the track.

The closest the duo comes to standard Rouse material is the intro on the great acoustic led track, The Ocean Always Wins. The hint of strings reminds me of the shows Josh played with the string quartets on his last tour, and the electro back beat suits Paz’s vocal lead nicely. The flutes and drum machine float along on the bedroom symphony, These Long Summer Days. You can’t help nodding along to this summery track and by the time the EP closes with the techno/disco influenced blips and chimes on Answers, you can’t help but wish they took the time to make a full release.

I’m not sure this will satisfy long time Rouse fans, but I think the two of them had a great time recording this and it shows in the songs. Five fun, enjoyable songs.

MP3:: The Ocean Always Wins
Video:: Answers

Posted at 6:12 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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