wed 08/04/2020

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’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

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

newsletter

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