sat 02/07/2022

CD: Caitlin Rose - The Stand In | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Caitlin Rose - The Stand In

CD: Caitlin Rose - The Stand In

Country starlet shows off her versatile voice on sophomore album

Torch singer's coyness: Caitlin Rose

She has yet to hit the second half of her twenties, but Caitlin Rose already has a voice to melt the heart of the most casual listener. While her pedigree - Nashville-born daughter of a Grammy-winning songwriter - screams country starlet, Rose’s vocal is instead the rich, melodic croon to match the torch singer coyness of the pose she pulls on the cover art to her second album.

The songwriting may be simple and the vocals straight from a Patsy Cline record, but Rose’s work is about as old-fashioned as the whisky cocktail. Wurlitzer organ, pedal steel and a horn section get used strategically, like an upcycled dress, but the clash of the chord that opens “No One to Call” is straight off last year’s Japandroids album and is a sneaky dig towards the singer’s punk beginnings.

Flirtations with that ubiquitous chart-topping country pop sound (“Only a Clown”) and radio-friendly Fleetwood Mac-style numbers (“I Was Cruel”) have the potential to prove crossover hits, but The Stand In becomes a stand out when Rose’s vocals are given the chance to breathe. There’s a defiance to “Waiting on a Broken Heart”, accented by a sassy gospel choir, that’s hard to imitate; while the wistful vocals of “Pink Champagne”, combined just so with pedal steel, hint at a heartbreak the lyrics only begin to convey. On “Golden Boy”, there’s a certain sweetness that sounds almost exactly what Zooey Deschanel never quite manages to hit on her She & Him records with M Ward.

Rose’s cover of the Felice Brothers’ “Dallas”, with its powerful chorus, is another masterful vocal performance and probably as close to pure country as The Stand In gets. At the end of the album, the peppy “Menagerie” and sensual jazz trumpet of “Old Numbers” are farthest removed, and yet two of the strongest cuts on the album.

Hear opening track "No One To Call" below

Rose’s work is about as old-fashioned as the whisky cocktail


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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