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One to Watch: Greg Lehman on Caitlin Rose’s Own Side Now

Posted by February 6th, 2012 No Comments »

Caitlin Rose
Own Side Now
Names Records
By Greg Lehman 

There was this kinda quirky, shy girl in Math class that I always thought about asking out.  She didn’t say much, but when she did she sounded smart and articulate, and her eyes would go from light and soft to intensely blue.

Own Side Now recalls that lovely wallflower. I close my eyes and can picture her singing just like Caitlin Rose, who has this every expanding voice that can go from waifish and timid to decidedly direct and sexy.

My favorite song is “Shanghai Cigarettes,” which would have fit well on any of Whiskeytown’s album. It’s lyrically brilliant, musically perfect and has not stopped roaming inside my skull since I heard it.

The rest of the album fails to reach that level of excellence, though. Rose’s voice is not one for maudlin slow tempo ballads, but fits great on those quirky almost “dance step” numbers. As a result, she really shines when the “country” is more “pop.” “Spare Me” is the perfect example: it is bubble gum country at its finest, with a frolicking bass line and Rose’s fun, sprite-like voice. It’s wistful and exuberant like a sugary wet kiss in the ear.

If I could squeak out a few more Own Side Now tunes worth listening I’d suggest waltz-like number “For the Rabbits” and “Learning to Ride,” which is a tongue-and-cheek number reminiscent of Patsy Cline.

I’m not sold on this entire album, but I am sold on the talent behind the album. I expect great things from Caitlin Rose.  – (6/10)


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