|Photo by: Joshrouse.com|
Key Tracks: “The Happiness Waltz,” “Purple and Beige,” “Julie (Come Out of the Rain)”
Folk-inspired artist Josh Rouse sashays into the easy-listening genre with relative ease without completely forgetting his folk roots on The Happiness Waltz.
An album full of songs that sound like they ought to be playing outside of a cabana or underscoring a scene on the silver screen, Rouse’s 10th full-length studio album does not disappoint those looking for coffee shop-friendly tunes. His move to Spain in 2006 certainly changed him as a musician, but not in a bad way. If anything, his new location has influenced his lyrics for the better.
The lovely opener, “Julie (Come Out of the Rain),” finds Rouse crooning to a woman named Julie, trying to save her from the perils of California weather (which is likely a metaphor for something deeper). It might sound silly, but Rouse’s greatest asset is his delivery, which serves him quite well on the track.
On “Simple Pleasures,” instruments that aren’t often heard outside of Carnival Cruise commercials sporadically pop up. The song works its harmonies' magic under Rouse’s slightly husky vocals. It’s not hard to imagine Rouse writing the track on the beaches of Spain.
The happy, simple love song “It’s Good to Have You” is pretty enough, and it’s not hard to believe in the love between the speaker and his subject. Its meaning doesn’t go any deeper than its title, but this track is definitely one that lovers should dance along to.
“Our Love” sounds as if it could be the sequel to “It’s Good to Have You.” Talks of family, growing older and sticking together no matter what lace the lyrics. Like “It’s Good to Have You,” the love the speaker feels for his significant other is evident.
The melancholy “Purple and Beige” offers up yet another well-done musical arrangement with introspective lyrics. “I think I’ll step out in the rain, / Forget all my troubles today,” sings Rouse.
The best track on the album is its final and titular one, “The Happiness Waltz.” Opening with a harmonica and underscored by a beautiful piano harmony, Rouse delivers such lovely lyrics as, “Spring, spring / Winter’s sting is gone, / Tomorrow I’ll be new.” His use of seasonal imagery would come across as cliché if he didn’t deliver every line with total sincerity.
This album should make Rouse himself do a little happiness waltz, for it’s yet another solid serving of good music from the singer/songwriter.
Folk-inspired artist Josh Rouse sashays into the easy-listening genre with relative ease without completely forgetting his folk roots on his 10th album.
JT returns with a new album that showcases the talented production team he has behind him.
The funky psychedelic pop duo from the Windy City ushers in some spring sensations with jazzy indie grooves on their debut release.
Wondrous Bughouse allows listeners to be part of the experience instead of watching from the sidelines.
Biffy Clyro's new double album would have been more impressive with a short collection of the album’s top songs.
The Strokes they ain't, but The Virgins showcase noticeable maturity on their sophomore album.
Sound City is a collection of jam sessions aided by solid production and varied musical talents.
Too much quiet crooning can get boring real quick.
Mount Moriah pay homage to the country music of yesteryear on its brooding second album.
Johnny Marr is no doubt a great guitarist, but his solo debut is anything but exciting.