Sunday, 19 December 2010

Caitlin Rose - Own Side Now - Album of the Year 2010 #4

There are some albums in end of year lists that are very of the moment, defining a particular sound or fashion that will be forever identified with that particular segment of time. Then there are opposites – timeless pieces of work that could have come from any decade. Tennessean Caitlin Rose released her debut album Own Side Now this summer and it falls very much into this second category of recording. It’s deeply genre specific – country music – but the ten songs present are full of supremely strong song craft, articulate crystal vocals reminiscent of legends such as Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn and concise and unfussy instrumentation.

It’s an album that achieves for country music what the likes of Laura Marling and Mumford and Sons have done for folk music – making it accessible to a whole new younger audience whilst not alienating the Nashville worshipping flannel shirt, tight jeans, ten-gallon hat and cowboy boots brigade of the older generation. There’s acoustic, pedal steel and twangy guitars a plenty, with everything being constructed in a beautifully composed and accessible manner.

Ultimately though what makes Own Side Now stand out as a superior album is quite simply because of its royally wonderful songs. They deserve a place in the collection of anyone who loves great music – whatever its genre or era. Own Side Now is rooted in tradition and is hardly ground breaking, but that doesn't matter when its bedecked with this much quality.

Caitlin Rose - Shanghai Cigarettes by Stayloose

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