[17 January 2012]
Walter Rose’s first full-length album finds the shadow-voiced singer dealing up just over 10 tracks of subtle, heartfelt tunes. At times recalling a young Steve Forbert, the Hawaii native keeps things simple and warm during “When You Were Mine”, “Times Are Hard” and “Driving South”. With tinges of country and world music weaving into each other, Rose alternates between desolate and downtrodden with doses of celebration tucked into places unforeseen. Lucinda Williams turns up for the aforementioned “Driving South”, and she plays her part soft and quiet, an unobtrusive but welcome touch on a sad and haunting tune. It’s evident that Rose has lived pretty much every word of the songs he sings and while that might have been painful for him, it’s made for pretty good listening for us.