Those of us in the music industry receive countless CD submissions to review or just to check out, and it’s one of my favorite perks. Being that we don’t always ask for the material, sometimes there are records that we have to pass on or that don’t move us in any way. Then there are the ones like Josh Rouse’s latest,
1972, that make us stop whatever we’re doing and let the music take us away into sheer bliss. True to the title,
1972 is a feel-good record that has a distinct 1970s feel while maintaining the warmth of a modern recording.
The title track is a moody, melodic piece that showcases Rouse’s smooth vocal delivery.
“Love Vibration” has the beat and arrangement reminiscent of ‘70s pop -- complete with swirling guitars and soft wind instruments. “Sunshine (Come on Lady)” has a catchy, on-the-beach feel and “James” is my favorite track of all, one that marries melodic falsetto with dancing bass lines and masterfully placed flute riffs, while telling the story of a womanizing alcoholic. The piano-driven “Slaveship” brings to mind fellow Nashville native Ben Folds. “Come Back” is another great song that sounds like it comes straight out of radio from 30 years ago, while still maintaining a John Mayer-ish quality. “Under Your Charms” and “Rise” are also standout tracks.
There are one or two songs on here that don’t measure up to the rest, but Rouse had already set the bar too high. For those of you who lived through the ‘70s and experienced great music from artists like Carole King, James Taylor and Firefall, you will want to pick
1972 up immediately. It’s just a classic example of a great songwriter delivering something that is equal parts timeless and
Also, read David
Mesker's review of 1972 by Josh Rouse.