sat 22/02/2020

CD: Caroline Rose - Loner | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Caroline Rose - Loner

CD: Caroline Rose - Loner

US singer-songwriter lays on the sass too thickly

Caroline Rose's 'Loner': a sadness-tinged cynicism is never far

Loner’s opening track “More of the Same” lyrically tracks being at a party where “everyone’s well dressed with a perfect body and they all have alternative haircuts and straight white teeth.” It triggers a flashback to schooldays when it was, indeed, the same thing. “Cry!” looks a life in the limelight, “Money” is about doing everything for money and “Bikini” is about becoming a celebrity. The price of entry? Putting on a bikini and dancing.

Caroline Rose’s third album is a smart, sardonic 11-track  romp through how she sees aspects of the modern condition. A sadness-tinged cynicism is never far. In its stand-out song “Jeannie Becomes a Mom”, the protagonist dreams of buying a big house, having her hair done and finding a father-figure/keeper hybrid. Such aspirations are out of reach.

The thematic sharpness is not enough. For all its boldness and up-tempo, sassy delivery Loner comes across as a deliberate intellectual exercise rather than an album driven by impulse. When she sings “I got a credit card and I use it all the time, I got that goochi goochi [sic] gooey oozy icky oozy style” on “Soul No. 5”, Rose pushes proceedings a little too close to condescension for comfort.

Previously, Rose drew from country and rockabilly. Now, she’s adopted a new wave/electropop amalgam which mashes-up the very early Beck, The Go! Team and Britney Spears. Taken individually, songs work  a treat. “Talk” is atmospheric and yearning, while album closer “Animal” sets the fun-poking aside and consequently feels like the most personal song with its delineation of an overheated love affair. Overall though, Loner – released in the UK three months after it the shops in America – is the aural equivalent of eating too many sweets in one sitting.

Overleaf: watch the video for “Bikini” from Caroline Rose’s Loner

'Loner' comes across as a deliberate intellectual exercise


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters