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A Talent That Matters
on 25 February 2013
Caitlin Rose's third album is a stylishly crafted work of beautiful songs, consummate musicianship and exquisite vocals. Packed with organ, strings, steel guitar, saxophone, piano, mandolin, trumpet and banjo, Rose, and her producers Jordan Lehning and Skylar Wilson, have delivered an album that cements her reputation as a talent that matters in Nashville.
The songs are melodic and lyrical demonstrating not only her skill as a writer but her versatility as a performer. She also has the ability to perform covers and to make them her own. Her reading of the Felice Brothers "Dallas" is a steel guitar drenched paean to homesickness with Caitlin's voice conveying an overwhelming sense of loneliness. Meanwhile, she re-interprets The Deep Vibrations' "I Was Cruel" from a country blues number to an anthemic rendition with ringing twelve string, swirling steel, piano and insistent drums.
The album leads off with a crashing intro into the sadness of "No One To Call" with Caitlin recalling Lucinda Williams or even Kirsty MacColl. In contrast there is the pretty "Pink Champagne" a wistful recollection of a tacky Las Vegas style wedding with lush strings and pedal steel. Menagerie has a touch of Buddy Holly and Jerry Allison about it and "Old Numbers" is a deliciously lazy, trumpet led, piece of ragtime jazz.
The album is certainly a triumph of production and musicianship with traditional country and a pop sensibility blending seamlessly into a style where the whole is greater than the parts. But underpinning the album is the sound of Caitlin's voice. With great clarity she evokes the full range of emotions contained within these stunning songs with understated ease. She's got the voice, she's got the songs and she's got the band.