Thursday, 8 August 2013

Anna Rose - Behold A Pale Horse

Album review by

Upon first hearing this album's title-track last summer we remarked on how Anna Rose seemed different to most of the rock-type singer-songwriters doing the rounds. This was reaffirmed by single 'Electric Child' earlier this year, and all of a sudden we found ourselves anticipating an album that seemed like it would be at odds with what we'd normally consider for inclusion on the site. Anna Rose has a mainstream sound, a fairly conventional rock sound, and also a very professional one. This isn't a lo-fi record, the production is more sanitised than the world's most pristine operating theatre. So what is it about Anna Rose that makes us ignore everything we stand for?

To be honest, I'm buggered if I know. There's just something about her songs, her attitude and her determination that draws you in and allows you to tolerate such a commercially-minded record. There's no reason why an alternative music site should be writing about clean rock/pop like 'Beautiful World' or 'Los Angeles', but that's the strange allure. Rose has a fine set of pipes on her and that voice can bring a touch of class to just about anything, and that's no slight on her songwriting which is exceptionally good despite being a style we wouldn't normally consider. 'Drive' and 'When The Wind' being prime examples that could be disasters in the wrong hands.

Part of the appeal may be the fact that Anna Rose doesn't just stick to these super shiny pop songs, she does allow blues, soul and desert rock to creep into the likes of 'Electric Child' and 'Show Me Those Hands', albeit in a less raw way that we may be used to. 'Swan Song' is another fine alt-rock track that straddles the world of the mainstream and the alternative, and whichever way you look at it, 'Shoot All The Lights' is a great piece of songwriting and the gritty 'Because Of You' is too. The moody 'Seven' is another song of note and takes you into a darker, more exciting world. So maybe that's Anna Rose's secret. She takes music that's often exploited and misused and carefully guides it back towards safety, not just by being a great singer, but by being able to write songs that are both commercial and credible at the same time, and that's not easy to do.

Anna Rose's website

Buy the album

Catch her live:

AUG 07 The Bowery ElectricNew York, NY US
AUG 09 Blue Ocean Music HallSalisbury, MA US
AUG 10 Sellersville TheaterSellersville, PA US
AUG 13 Great ScottAllston, MA US

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