Release Date: Feb 14, 2012
Record label: Sing-A-Long
No one can fault Rosie Thomas for not taking risks. With Love steers clear of the fragile indie-pop we have come to expect from her. Her new project is a retro-pop album that feels like it could have been pulled out of your mother’s record collection. Does she pull it off? Yes. This is a charming ….
In the four eventful years since 2008's A Very Rosie Christmas, multi-talented actress, standup, and vocalist Rosie Thomas has faced a lengthy battle with illness, married her folksinger partner Jeff Shoop, and relocated from Seattle to New York, as well as finding the time to tour with Iron & Wine and appear in two independent films. It's therefore unsurprising that her sixth studio album, With Love, sees her attempt to slow down the pace on ten wistful and elegant piano-pop tracks that recall the '90s coffeehouse fare of Jann Arden, Shawn Colvin, and Sarah McLachlan. Always the most mellow artist on the Sub Pop roster, her first non-festive release away from the iconic label is arguably her most delicate since 2001 debut When We Were Small, with only the propulsive basslines of "Over the Moon" and the dreamy harmony-laden "Is This Love?" coming anywhere close to shifting into second gear.
“Somewhere over the rainbow, skies will be blue,” sings Rosie Thomas on her sixth full-length, surrounded by canned strings and modest fingerpicking. “Somewhere over the rainbow, dreams will come true.” Yikes. Unless you’re onstage with Toto (the dog, not the band) or unless you’ve spun the sentiment into some sort of ironic truth, you should never sing those lyrics, especially if you wrote the song in the 21st century.
‘Aimer et Perdre: To Love & To Lose Songs, 1917-1934’ Arriving right on time for Valentine’s Day this two-disc compilation on the Tompkins Square label presents a bittersweet bouquet of love songs, without looking in the usual places or yielding the usual results. It’s a sampling of recordings from the rural past, with emphasis on the Polish and Ukrainian wedding bands of the Carpathian mountains, and the Cajun, Creole and Appalachian musicians of the American South. The Carter Family is among the few familiar names here, along with the old-time banjo player Dock Boggs and the Cajun fiddler Dennis McGee; you’re less likely to know, say, Ukrainska Selska Orchestra, included for the sprightly virtues of its “Holubka Polka.