Monday, 11 January 2010

Song of the Week #2 - "1972" by Josh Rouse

If I had to pick one artist who stood head and shoulders above everyone else in the last decade, it would probably be Josh Rouse. Not only did he release a heck of a lot of records (by my reckoning there were 6 albums and a handful of EPs), but at least four of those were truly magnificent. The four in question are the run started by 2003's epic '1972', through 'Nashville', 'Subtitulo' and 'Country Mouse City House'. Each of those contains life-affirming pop songs, but '1972' edges it. In fact, if I were making a list of my absolutely favourite albums of the decade, it would probably be right up there at number 1. I bought it on a whim, having read a good review (possibly in Q) and having liked what I'd heard of his previous record, Under Cold Blue Stars. 1972 is very different from its predecessor, from the warmth of the production to the 70s singer/songwriter stylings and arrangements. What really sets it apart though is the tunes, and while Come Back is the perfect pop song, my pick for this week is the title track. So sad and with such longing, but musically so uplifting:

"Spanish girl with a tattoo
Working nights at the drive-through
And she asks herself, could this be all?
Screwing in a motel room
Watching news on channel two
Victoria tell me, where is your dream?

We're going through some changes
Hoping for replacement
Until we find a way out of this hole"

MP3: Josh Rouse - 1972

Here's a live version from Germany:



Anonymous said...

Hey, I'd put 'Under cold blue stars' on that list too. To me it was a stunningly powerful record.


Spence said...

Yup, it's certainly got some great songs on it, that's for sure. Hoping his new one (due in Feb?) keeps up the standard!