Caitlin Rose's Dead Flowers EP certainly generated a lot of "buzz" when it released; you might almost have thought we'd finally found the "new Patsy Cline". But whilst I personally enjoyed that release a HUGE amount I could fully appreciate that it's sparse Country sound wouldn't be for everyone.
Thankfully, Rose's first album, Own Side Now blows all that out of the water. Everything I loved about Dead Flowers remains but it's as if everything has been turned up a notch. The lyrical wit (dare I say genius) of Rose could keep me in Facebook status updates for the next year. Repeated listens seem to bring forward another gem of a line that you'd previously missed and they range from witty to clever via, at times, achingly heartbreaking.
The title track Own Side is so deftly realised that it can have me in tears, whilst the likes of New York and Shanghai Cigarettes hide their lyrical sadness in uplifting melodies that refuse to dislodge themselves from your brain. But this is an album I can listen to from start to finish without ever once wanting to reach for the skip button. It's been the only CD in my car stereo for the past three weeks.
People always say that they don't write them like they used to. Well Caitlin Rose has proved not only that they do, and to the same quality, but also that they can sound as thrilling and fresh as anything else around to day. Quite simply, if I hear a better album this year someone will have done very well indeed. This is almost perfection. Hell, s*d it. It IS perfection.