Rhythm & Views 

Josh Rouse

Nashville is Josh Rouse's sixth record, and like 1972 and Under the Cold Blue Stars before it, it gleams with sparkling production and myriad pop influences. 2003's 1972 was an homage to that musical era, and the songs captured the nostalgia with Rouse's style and voice--breathy vocals and pop songs centered on vocal melodies that shift key, twist and crescendo, with accents like strings, pedal steel and horns. Not only were 1972 and Under the Cold Blue Stars conceptual musically; they were lyrically as well (Under the Cold Blue Stars was a series of narratives about a family living on a Depression-era farmstead). Unlike its predecessors, Nashville does not reach this level of depth.

The title leads you to believe it will be thematic, and it almost is; there are more country-style accents here, and songs about lost love, which isn't a very original theme. Rouse isn't from Nashville, nor does he live there currently; word on the street is he lives in Spain. He's one of those songwriters that is, in fact, from everywhere, and on Nashville, his music draws from all of his geographic reference points.

There are lyrics as blunt as "You were a New Waver in 1983, I was new on the scene, I just wanted everyone to like me." The talky-familiarity just doesn't fit with the formal excellence of the music--"Streetlights" tiptoes in on plucked violin strings; "Why Won't You Tell Me What" is straight-up blues, rocked out Ray Charles style. But despite the continuing musical lushness Rouse creates, without the lyrical verticality, Nashville has little to isolate it from the standard male solo-singer-songwriter record.

More by Annie Holub


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

Song of the Day: 'Cosmic Love Song No. 23' by Louise Le Hir

The Lantern Fest: Get Your Shine On

Fill Up On Beer, Bands and Brats at 4thtober Fest

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Noise Annoys

    Mute Swan and the Curse of Local Hype
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Honky Tonk Girl

    How this Tucson 19-year-old might trip the country electric
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2016 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation