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Josh T. Landow

CD of The Week

Week of 4/16/18

    Caroline Rose - LONER (New West)

    Caroline Rose's sophomore album LONER is an intentional evolution in sound and style that fits perfectly. Distancing herself from her former folk identity, she and producer Paul Butler take time and consideration to manipulate all aspects of the songs in the collection to form a larger picture of satirical dystopia beneath a flurry of synths. Bold and infectious, LONER is a proud pop collection with an equal balance of confidence and uncertainty that makes it instantly relatable.

    Under the umbrella of pop, Rose creates a diverse range of songs by pulling inspiration from other genres and artists. In its fifth iteration as a song (hence No. 5), "Soul No. 5" is a bright and catchy tune that pokes fun at its own sunny positivity at breakneck speed. Later, "Bikini" channelsCaroline Rose's sophomore album LONER is an intentional evolution in sound and style that fits perfectly. Distancing herself from her former folk identity, she and producer Paul Butler take time and consideration to manipulate all aspects of the songs in the collection to form a larger picture of satirical dystopia beneath a flurry of synths. Bold and infectious, LONER is a proud pop collection with an equal balance of confidence and uncertainty that makes it instantly relatable.

    Under the umbrella of pop, Rose creates a diverse range of songs by pulling inspiration from other genres and artists. In its fifth iteration as a song (hence No. 5), "Soul No. 5" is a bright and catchy tune that pokes fun at its own sunny positivity at breakneck speed. Later, "Bikini" channels the same hip-shaking spirit in a full sarcastic hit at the challenges of being female-identifying in the music industry.

    Suffering isn't hidden on LONER but rather intentionally paired ironically with uplifting instrumentals. "Cry" has a golden melody and sticks to a signature pop format whilst oozing with a painful vulnerability. Lines like "Where are you running to, girl? There's nothing for you up there" put a heavy weight on the buzzing bassline. "More of the Same" attempts to simulate the numbness of realizing faults and trying to decide where to put your trust while the staccato synth keeps time to creating a feeling of pleasant discomfort.

    There's an intrigue embedded in the enunciated tale of Jeannie in "Jeannie Becomes a Mom." Its popping synth curiously pairs with a minimal bassline as a compliment during the verses, a propulsive force during the chorus, and as a wavering companion in the instrumental bridge. With similar mystique, a befitting paranoia pervades "Talk" as Rose delivers whispers reflecting the voices within her own head.

    LONER is a seriously fun portrait of its creator's life experience. Between the soft pauses and whirring synths, its carefully selected sounds paint a thoroughly engaging listen. The album invites the listener in with lush arrangements and punchy accents while lyrically challenging perceptions of loneliness, sorrow, and societal expectations.

    Caroline Rose will be coming to Philadelphia again on May 24th at Union Transfer, opening for Maggie Rogers. You won't want to miss a chance to see her live set. the same hip-shaking spirit in a full sarcastic hit at the challenges of being female-identifying in the music industry.

    Suffering isn't hidden on LONER but rather intentionally paired ironically with uplifting instrumentals. "Cry" has a golden melody and sticks to a signature pop format whilst oozing with a painful vulnerability. Lines like "Where are you running to, girl? There's nothing for you up there" put a heavy weight on the buzzing bassline. "More of the Same" attempts to simulate the numbness of realizing faults and trying to decide where to put your trust while the staccato synth keeps time to creating a feeling of pleasant discomfort.

    There's an intrigue embedded in the enunciated tale of Jeannie in "Jeannie Becomes a Mom." Its popping synth curiously pairs with a minimal bassline as a compliment during the verses, a propulsive force during the chorus, and as a wavering companion in the instrumental bridge. With similar mystique, a befitting paranoia pervades "Talk" as Rose delivers whispers reflecting the voices within her own head.

    LONER is a seriously fun portrait of its creator's life experience. Between the soft pauses and whirring synths, its carefully selected sounds paint a thoroughly engaging listen. The album invites the listener in with lush arrangements and punchy accents while lyrically challenging perceptions of loneliness, sorrow, and societal expectations.

    Caroline Rose will be coming to Philadelphia again on May 24th at Union Transfer, opening for Maggie Rogers. You won't want to miss a chance to see her live set.
    Review by Shana Hartzel

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