Josh Rouse
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Dressed Up Like Nebraska , 6.5/10
Home , 6/10
Under Cold Blue Stars , 5.5/10
1972 (2003), 6,5/10
Nashville (2005), 5.5/10
Subtitulo (2006), 4.5/10
Country Mouse City House (2007), 5/10
El Turista (2010), 4/10
The Long Vacations (2011), 4/10

Raised in Nebraska but relocated to Nashville, Josh Rouse debuted with Dressed Up Like Nebraska (Slow River, 1998), an album that wed the catchiness of pop music and the depressed feelings of alt-country. Following the EP Chester (1999), a collaboration with Lambchop's guitarist Kurt Wagner (who writes the lyrics), Rouse released an even poppier album, Home (Slow River, 2000), featuring Laughter and Directions, somewhat in the vein of Freedy Johnston. But the ambitious song-cycle Under Cold Blue Stars (Slow River, 2002), set in rural America during the 1950s, did not live up to expectations, despite trying several different styles and arrangements (Feeling No Pain, Ears To The Ground, Women And Men, Christmas With Jesus). (Translation by/ Tradotto da Stefano Marino)

Cresciuto nel Nebraska ma poi trasferitosi a Nashville, Josh Rouse ha debuttato con Dressed Up Like Nebraska (Slow River, 1998), un disco che sposava l'orecchiabilita` del pop all'indolenza depressa dell'alt-country.

Dopo l'EP Chester (1999), in collaborazione con il chitarrista dei Lambchop Kurt Wagner (autore dei testi), Rouse ha pubblicato un album dalle atmosfere ancora più pop, Home (Slow River, 2000), con brani come Laughter e Directions, in un certo senso sulla scia di Freedy Johnston.

L'ambizioso ciclo di canzoni Under Cold Blue Stars (Slow River, 2002), ambientato nell'America rurale degli anni '50, non ha però risposto alle aspettative, nonostante l'impiego di stili ed arrangiamenti differenti (Feeling No Pain, Ears To The Ground, Women And Men, Christmas With Jesus).

1972 (Rykodisc, 2003), dedicated to his own birth year, continued the autobiographical journey taking advantage of an even more varied (and carefully assembled) palette of styles. Rouse's rock was becoming softer and mellower, to the point of sounding like a revival of Daryl & Hall and the likes.

Nashville (Rykodisc, 2005) has little in common with the capital of country music. His style is still, fundamentally, guitar-driven soul-pop, with frequent echoes of Elton John and Billy Joel. Winter in the Hamptons is typical, but best perhaps are the least typical, the bluesy Why Won't You Tell Me What and the neoclassical Sad Eyes.

The EP Bedroom Classics Vol 2 (2005) introduced a more experimental side of Rouse, but Subtitulo (Nettwerk, 2006) insisted in crafting country-soul ballads (Summertime).

Country Mouse City House (2007), recorded with a full-fledged band, continued the slow approach to lounge music, with horns and strings and mellotron. Little measures up to his past standards (Sweetie, Hollywood Bass Player). However, in his new found genre, Rouse is certainly competent and entertaining.

El Turista (2010), instead, is a mere detour into exotic music, including two Cuban covers and a folk traditional, that rarely achieves the kind of intimate musicality radiated by his best songs (Valencia).

Now firmly relocated to Spain, he continued to dig into the mood and styles of Latin music for The Long Vacations (2011).

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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