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7 Reviews
5 star:
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4 star:
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3 star:
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!
I dont know about anyone else, but I am always on the look out for new music, that is, well, a bit special. This certainly is what I have been looking for. Every single track completely sucks you in and demands you listen. Rouse has built this album loosely on a concept of love won to love lost, but this does not in any way hinder these feistily crafted pop (as in poppy,...
Published on 24 Feb 2002

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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite there yet
I came to Josh Rouse in reverse order, which may explain my low rating. 'Under Cold Blue Stars' shows flashes of what is to come but does not touch the heights of 'Nashville' or '1972' often enough.
The album has a more MOR feel than alt.country at times, and it is not helped by rather muddy production. The songwriting is a bit uneven too at times. It redeems itself...
Published on 27 Jun 2005 by B. A. Woodhouse


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!, 24 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Under Cold Blue Stars (Audio CD)
I dont know about anyone else, but I am always on the look out for new music, that is, well, a bit special. This certainly is what I have been looking for. Every single track completely sucks you in and demands you listen. Rouse has built this album loosely on a concept of love won to love lost, but this does not in any way hinder these feistily crafted pop (as in poppy, melodic, not Top 10, silly!) songs.
Futhermore you'll swear you have heard Nothing Gives Me Pleasure, and Miracle a hundred times before. You wont be able to place where though, Rouse has a knack of making songs seem familiar, and you'll love him for it. These songs sound classy in a Crowded House sort of way, yet contemporary and fresh in an Eels or Lampchop manner.
Make Josh Rouse your new best friend, and take him everywhere with you!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sublime. Alt-country has rarely sounded so good., 26 Feb 2002
This review is from: Under Cold Blue Stars (Audio CD)
Josh Rouse has been recognised as a quality singer-songwriter for a few years now, his albums 'Dressed Up Like Nebraska' and 'Home' have been critically lauded but received indifferently by the public.
With 'Under Cold Blue Stars' though, Rouse truly deserves to reach an audience, not just his established fanbase, but to infinity and beyond. Lets get one thing straight this is a beautiful record. From the opening track 'Nothing Give Me Pleasure', as the drums kick in and the layers of sound develop before Rouse's voice breaks into falsetto and back for the chorus, it's obvious that something quite special is happening.
The thing which separates this album from the majority of melancholic folk/country albums which are flooding the market at the moment is that it has a depth and a core which is shared by some of the records of the moment and some of the timeless greats. Dylan's 'Blood On The Tracks', Ryan Adam's 'Heartbreaker', Nick Cave's 'The Boatman Calls' and Elliott Smith's 'Either/Or' all hold the same trait of surprising the listener by the consistent greatness of each track, never faltering and always endearing.
The album is said to have a loose concept of a couple living in the 1950s and all the trials and tribulations that life throws at them. The themes which this digs up are ideal fare for the melancholy which exudes from the album. To me though, focussing on the concept can limit the appreciation of the album and I wouldn't look into it too deeply and miss out on the gorgeous sounds which emanate throughout. The best thing to do when an album as good as this comes along is to just sit down, listen and enjoy.
I've only had this record for a week and its rare for me to make snap judgements on matters of music but, as you may have guessed, I genuinely adore this album. Here's to 'Under Cold Blue Stars' having a long reign in my record player.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music from the past to bring us to here!, 25 Feb 2002
By 
aidanjjones@aol.com (Somewhere here, then there) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Under Cold Blue Stars (Audio CD)
It is the simple ideas that always work best. This statement is true of this album. Josh Rouse' idea is that he will tell you a simple story about two lovers of 1950's America and the joy and heart ache that they encounter in their romance. The songs are direct and simple. The production isn't to pristine as there appears to be room for the songs to breath, an almost Elliott Smith quality.
t appears that Rouse has the ability to craft perfect pop songs about the tribulations of love without being too sickly nor too teeny! The balance is just right, something that is lacking in the majority of such albums. From the opening track to the last you are taken on a musical whirlwind of passion, saddness and of love.
A good sign with any album is that you dont want it to end, this is one of those albums.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sheer poetry, 26 Mar 2002
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This review is from: Under Cold Blue Stars (Audio CD)
I first encountered Josh Rouse on the soundtrack of 'Vanilla Sky', and I knew then, I had to hear more of his stuff.. "Under Cold Blue Stars" is a great cd, full of poetic beauty and depth rarely seen in guitar-based music today. The songs are simple and perfect, and will be buzzing round your head for weeks after you hear them. Some real emotion and feeling has clearly gone into these songs, and it shows. This cd is a perfect accompaniment to quiet contemplation, and a great travelling companion too!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Miracle?, 31 Mar 2003
This review is from: Under Cold Blue Stars (Audio CD)
Where have I heard this before? Rouse wonderfully prepared this album to seem like a long lost friend, most of the songs are infectious and are layered to give such a relaxing effect. If bought this cd will command your cd player for a few weeks, the only criticism is the album is to easy to get into revealing most of it's pleasurable delights in a the first few outings. Top notch more of the same please........
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Endlessly pleasurable listening, 1 Mar 2010
By 
Ash (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Under Cold Blue Stars (Audio CD)
I came across Josh Rouse in 2002, after 'Miracle' was included in a free magazine CD, and I immediately rushed out to buy the CD. I was travelling around the United States with friends at the time, and my memories of riding the Greyhound and hungover mornings in musty motels are so closely fused with this album that it can be difficult for me to know which I love more. There couldn't have been a more perfect soundtrack.

Rouse's lyrics and musical arrangements are perfect country-pop. Anyone who loves music will find a rich vein of ambition, experimentation and classic production in these timeless songs. I loved it so much that I bought all his albums and his DVD on my return to the UK and have seen him three times during his brief, infrequent tours of the UK. I even met the man himself after one particularly brilliant gig and drunkenly discussed his influences and recommendations for Tom Waits albums! Top chap.
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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite there yet, 27 Jun 2005
This review is from: Under Cold Blue Stars (Audio CD)
I came to Josh Rouse in reverse order, which may explain my low rating. 'Under Cold Blue Stars' shows flashes of what is to come but does not touch the heights of 'Nashville' or '1972' often enough.
The album has a more MOR feel than alt.country at times, and it is not helped by rather muddy production. The songwriting is a bit uneven too at times. It redeems itself in several places but it also lacks the overall mood which pervade the later albums.
A decent album by any test, but not a standout. Buy it if you've enjoyed his other albums, but if you want to start your collection I'd say begin with the '1972' and 'Nashville'.
If you enjoy this album lots, ty Aimee Mann 'Lost in Space, or 'Whatever' for something similar but different!
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