Release Date: Sep 9, 2014
Record label: Anti
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter
The prophetic and distinct voice of Sean Rowe returns with Madman, his latest album, and the third to be released on Anti-. This time around, Rowe bares his teeth, shows his heart and scratches out a fantastic collection of songs that are as memorable for their songwriterly focus as they are for his beautiful baritone bellowing.Rowe's authoritative voice is on prominent display throughout Madman, and melds well with a variety of styles and key changes. The blue-eyed soul offering "Desiree" introduces Rowe's voice through a twinkling of light and starry percussion as it swaggers in a fashion similar to Bowie on Young Americans.
Sean RoweMadman(Anti-)3.5 stars Sean Rowe has a good voice. No, scratch that. Sean Rowe has a great voice. Sean Rowe has the kind of bellowing, resonant timbre that dreams come from. His voice comes not from the lungs or the diaphragm but from deep in the soul and lights up the most primal regions ….
On his previous work, the booming baritone of singer/songwriter Sean Rowe had naturally made a home for itself on the darker side of the alt-folk world, imbuing his songs with a brooding rumble that set him miles apart from any of his contemporaries. On his fourth album, Madman, Rowe decides to let a little sunshine in, brightening up his sound with elements of joyful pop that cast the singer in a whole new light. While the album still has the requisite nods to Tom Waits with the ramshackle syncopation of "Looking for the Master," and Leonard Cohen on the gently rapturous "It Won't Be Long," the most interesting moments come when Rowe decides to let his fun side out.