Album: Caitlin Rose, Own Side Now (Names)
Sounds like twang spirit – the future of country is looking up
Sunday 08 August 2010
Can you catch sight of an exciting new artist too early?
Did the fans who witnessed the Beatles at the Cavern feel a sense of disappointment when they first heard the band on record? Worth asking, because initial listens to Caitlin Rose's debut album left me feeling a tad perplexed. Where was the feisty humour so apparent in those early solo shows and on the "Dead Flowers" EP? Had the good-girl-gone-bad gone back to being good again? Was the 23-year-old widely hailed as the "saviour of country music" playing it too safe?
Some months on, a different picture emerges. Firstly, though "Dead Flowers" got a UK release only last year, it was recorded when Rose was still in her teens. Add to that the fact that the more extreme "country" side of Rose's voice is not something she entirely enjoys listening to, and you're some way closer to discovering why Own Side Now sounds like Rose with the rough edges smoothed over.
Conversely, it's a bold move. The humour, feistiness and attitude are all still here, just not as in-your-face. And in making her album sound this polished, Rose is inviting people who might not ordinarily listen to her genre, in. Once there, they will not be disappointed. The voice (if double-tracked unnecesarily at times; she calls it her "mini-mes") is a gift from the gods; the level of songwriting equally unnatural in one so young.
Put Own Side Now on in the background, and it will not intrude or jar. Listen to it closer and it will deliver everything that was expected from this remarkable new talent.
Highlights? "Sinful Wishing Well" is a stone-cold future classic; "New York City" is as honest and knowing a song as you'll ever hear; "Shanghai Cigarettes" gets a magical makeover from heartbreaker to singalong hit; "Spare Me" is as good as almost anything in Dylan's back catalogue; and, well, the truth is there's not a bad song or dull moment in sight. Sigh.
The best thing to come out of Nashville for decades is transforming before our eyes into the best thing to come out of anywhere for a very long time. And you can't help feeling the crucial years are all ahead of her.
The new Dolly? The new Loretta? Hell no. She's Caitlin Rose. And she's all the better for that.
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 2 Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Tidal CEO leaves Jay Z's music streaming service only a month after it launched
Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens: Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill admits he was suspicious of 'Star Trek guy' JJ Abrams
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate