Thursday, October 02, 2008

Josh Rouse Retrospective

"Every time I've made a record, I've tried to make it different from the last one. I always become fascinated by a different style of music. But at the end of the day, no matter how eclectic I try to make it, it's my voice and melodic sensibility that tie things together."

-Josh Rouse, liner notes for
The Best of the Rykodisc Years

I've been meaning to write about Josh Rouse's The Best of the Rykodisc Years for a while now, honest. I've been listening to its two discs on and off again for close to a month, but for whatever reason, I've just now got around to writing about it. Prowling around the blogosphere, it seems that it's slipped past other peoples attention as well. Which is a shame, because its two discs and thirty-two tracks offer a treasure trove of material for both older Rouse fans and those just getting acquainted with him.

The first disc is a compilation of some of his best songs from his first five albums. There are three to four tracks from Dressed Up Like Nebraska, Home, Under Cold Blue Stars, 1972, and Nashville. And while obviously older fans might bristle over the possible exclusion of their favorite songs, this really is a solid collection that serves as an excellent primer for those not familiar with his entire discography.

Disc two offers up some rarities that older fans will surely appreciate. It starts with all six songs from Bedroom Classics Vol. 1, a limited edition EP that was released in 2001, followed by seven additional previously unreleased demos and outtakes from this period of Rouse's career.

Put it all together, along with some decent line notes, and you have a solid package. It's been out for a bit now, so enjoy the following few tracks and then look to pick up a copy, whether as an introduction to Josh or to supplement your Rouse collection.

Visit his website, the release's label Rhino Records, and become his friend on MySpace.

No comments: