Yep Roc Records [Release date 13.04.18]
Josh Rouse has been recording and writing songs for twenty years now, mainly in the folk, pop and Americana musical arenas and now on this album it seems him trading in his acoustic guitar for a synthesizer. ’Love In The Modern Age’ is inspired by everything from the sophisticated pop of 80’s Roxy Music, late-career Leonard Cohen, through to the Blue Nile.
Josh Rouse knows a good melody and this album is chock full of them from the opening blissful pop refrains of ‘Salton Sea’ through to the Roxy Music approved laid back pop on ‘Businessman’. The jazzy refrains on the title track lost this listener for a bit, although that’s more from personal taste!
Elsewhere Josh Rouse’s soothing vocals top the electro beat and synths on ‘Hugs And Kisses’ very nicely. The melody and the arrangements on each song fit each other like a glove. ‘There Was A Time’ has the dreamy vocal and mellow melody beloved of Shawn Mullins, plus the one song to really feature a full blown guitar solo and what a solo!
Josh Rouse is not an artist to sit on his laurels and is keen to try something new, as he does on this album, an updated nod to New Romantic and early 80′s highly crafted pop. He has the songs to pull this off and deserves continued success for his musical endeavours on this album. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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