December 4, 2003

Test Spin: Josh Rouse

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Critically acclaimed, but still relatively unknown, Josh Rouse has released, via Rykodisc, 1972, a new collection of songs that is easily his most ambitious — and ultimately most successful — effort to date. Mr. Rouse’s fifth proper LP is certainly the most fully realized record of his career. A marked departure from the promising but unremarkable singer-songwriter fare captured on his four previous recordings on the independent Slow River label, 1972 serves up a delightful mix of solid songwriting, lush orchestration, and drum and bass grooves circa 1970s. Tracks like “Love Vibration” and “Sunshine” are more fun than heart wrenching. And considering the tone of his previous recordings, that’s a welcome development. The nearly flawless production of Brad Jones (The Bis-Quits, Margaret Bell) lends a groovy atmospheric vibe to the whole affair. The result is an exceedingly sophisticated and beautifully crafted pop record.

Archived article by Mathew Gewolb