April 22, 2002

Rosie Thomas "In Between"

I enjoy a good weep every now and then. Nothing too terribly Morrissey, mind you, but an occasional good cry is a rather healthy release. You know, at the end of the day, those emotions get built up and up and up, and that isn't healthy. Just a tear or two, oh, about a month or so, and I'm tellin' you, you'll be refreshed, rejuvinated, and cleared out. Things happen in our lives and sometimes we need a release. Why not cry?

I can't say for sure, but either Rosie Thomas also enjoys a good weep, or she knows the cathartic power of teardrops. She's certainly tapped into that thing we call "emotion," and this little debut EP of hers is a rather nice platter of tear-stained tunes. Of course, after a few listens, you realize that her tears are not so much the "ohhh, woe is me, my life is bad" variety, but are more akin to the idea that "life is beautiful, life is sad, and I weep for them both." She was a vocalist for underratedly beautiful Velour 100, and has also served as a guest singer with Damien Jurado as well, and her voice his pure emotional pain, reminding me of Heidi Berry, though Joni Mitchell's name has been unfairly tossed her way as well. (It should be noted that her backing band also serve as Jurado's new rock band, Gathered in Song)

In Between starts with "Paper Airplane," a sad, acoustic-plucked ballad that allows for Rosie's voice to simply soar with emotion, heartbreak, and beauty. The soaring continues on with another strummed guitar number, "Tired." A full-band backing appears with "Leftover Coffee." The winner of the EP, "October," is sad, simple, and utterly heartbreaking, and is slightly reminiscent of Glen Campbell's hit "Less of Me." With her lyrics directed (at least in my humble interpretation) towards her lover who's found a new woman, if you've ever had your heart broken in an unrequited-love setting, you'll be turning on the waterworks in no time flat. The final tune, "Farewell," is a piano ballad that sounds like a spin-off of This Mortal Coil's cover of "Holocaust," and is topped off with samples of Rosie's family and Rosie as a child.

All in all, In Between is a quietly powerful, moving little record of an artist with a bright future. Sometimes that's all there is to say.

--Joseph Kyle

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