Recommended Albums... New York garage-rock new-wavers The Strokes are on album number five and Comedown Machine marks a return to form for Julian Casablancas & co. Whilst they may not be trying to replicate the pared down sound of their now-iconic debut This Is It, they have at least re-captured some of that raw energy. With a sound now owing as much to 80s synth bands such as A-Ha and Human League as it does to their beloved garage rock idols.
As a result, The Strokes, circa 2013 finds the band fully rejuvenated and seemingly enjoying themselves. They may struggle to regain the popularity that they enjoyed when the band first emerged but they have at least done themselves proud with Comedown Machine.
To better her 2010 album release Own Side seemed something of an unlikely outcome for Caitlin Rose, the Nashville-via-Dallas songwriter, with a hefty country tradition flowing through her veins. Then, she was a plucky young songwriter, erring on the brash side occasionally and a reserved, but confident performer, with a pocket full of neat tales to share. Now, in a relatively short space of time, she has emerged once more with new album The Stand In. That plucky young songwriter just got pluckier, rangier and a great deal more commanding than before.
"It's sort of country, isn't it?" a friend said, whilst watching Caitlin play recently. Take out the 'sort of' and you're 'sort of' there. All the subtle signifiers of country are there. All the clichéd signifiers of country are there. The pedal steel. The heartbreak. That hearty Southern twang. Somehow, though, The Stand-In is more than just a collection of wholesome country songs.
The opening bars of the opening track, 'No One To Call,' start with a trashy clang of rock and roll guitars, a pressing reminder that Caitlin (in her songs, at least), always has one foot in the gutter, trying to get into, or out of, some downtown bar or other. There is a staunch refusal to fit neatly into the pristine country music model that could probably make her a star back home (her mother, interestingly enough, possesses a Grammy for writing for Taylor Swift. There are distinct signs of rebellion in Caitlin's style). She describes her songs as "sad" or "bitchy." We'll have them tagged as bitter, delightfully regretful, observant and heartbreakingly funny.
Continue reading: Caitlin Rose - The Stand In Album Review
Exploding from Nashville, Tennessee, 23-year-old Caitlin Rose is sure to give country dames such as Cline and Parton a run for their money as she becomes a representative for our generation. The talent is clearly here. With a very strong voice, a close connection with her country roots and lyrics exemplifying maturity; it is obvious why labels were quick to snap her up. However, whilst the talent is there, it is not exactly put to the test on her debut LP.
Continue reading: Caitlin Rose, Own Side Now Album Review