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Thread: Josh Rouse - The Happiness Waltz

  1. #1
    Grumpy Old Man Music Head's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Lancaster, Kentucky, United States

    Default Josh Rouse - The Happiness Waltz

    online listen
    tenth album
    never heard of him
    I got a Paul Simon/Seals & Crofts feel out of it
    most of it too laid back for me
    nothing I liked
    1.3 from me and a converted 1.8 from allmusic

    web site -

    from the album - A Lot Like Magic

    released Mar 19th, 2013

    Bio - from allmusic

    Although born in Nebraska, singer/songwriter Josh Rouse moved to various cities throughout his
    childhood and subsequent musical career, driven at first by his father's military career and
    later by his desire to take inspiration from different environments. He paid tribute to his
    birthplace on his 1998 debut, Dressed Up Like Nebraska, and explored the influence of his
    adopted home state, Tennessee, with 2005's Nashville. Rouse later settled in Spain and explored
    the country's musical traditions, although his songwriting continued to exhibit the summery,
    rootsy appeal of his earlier work.

    As a child, Rouse spent time in California, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota, Georgia, and
    Arizona. Music was one of the few constants in a life filled with new towns, new schools, and
    new friends, and he took comfort in bands like the Smiths and the Cure. After receiving several
    guitar lessons from his uncle, Rouse began writing songs as an 18-year-old and molded himself
    into a skilled composer, eventually scoring a contract with the Rykodisc subsidiary Slow River.
    His debut album, Dressed Up Like Nebraska, was released in 1998 to widespread critical acclaim.
    He pulled up stakes shortly thereafter and resettled in Nashville, where he was befriended by
    Kurt Wagner, frontman of the chamber country group Lambchop. The two began writing together and
    issued a collaborative EP, Chester, in the fall of 1999.

    Rouse's second solo record, Home, appeared the following spring and was followed by Under Cold
    Blue Stars in 2002. He then launched a partnership with producer Brad Jones -- known for his
    work with pop artists like Marshall Crenshaw, Matthew Sweet, and Jill Sobule -- and the
    resulting album, 1972, was both an homage to the soft rock sounds of Rouse's youth and a
    deepening of his sound. Before the release of his next album, however, Rouse's marriage ended
    and he moved from Nashville to Spain. Released in 2005, Nashville served as a farewell to both
    the city and his marriage; it was also his most fully realized record to date, featuring Brad
    Jones' lush production and Rouse's poignant, nostalgic lyrics.

    Once in Spain, Rouse settled in the small seaside town of Puerto de Santa Maria and began
    writing songs shaped by his new surroundings. Jones eventually flew into town, and the two
    captured a relaxed and intimate vibe on 2006's Subtitulo. After the release of two EPs (Bedroom
    Classics, Vol. 2 and She's Spanish, I'm American, the latter of which was recorded with Rouse's
    girlfriend, artist Paz Suay), Rouse chose to handle his own production for 2007's Country Mouse
    City House. He also married Suay, became a father, and relocated to Valencia's Mediterranean

    Rouse's eighth studio album, El Turista, was released in 2010, a full five years after his
    relocation to Spain. Living abroad for half-a-decade had left an indelible mark on the
    songwriter, who sang several of the album's tracks in Spanish. Ironically, the bulk of El
    Turista was recorded in Nashville with Brad Jones, a move that only strengthened the globe-
    trotting appeal of Rouse's songwriting. For the 2011 release Josh Rouse & the Long Vacations,
    the singer/songwriter drew from the AM radio sounds he grew up with, as well as present-day
    influences from his adopted home of Spain. His next album, 2013's The Happiness Waltz,
    jettisoned all the Spanish influences and returned to the sound of his early-2000s albums.

    Album Review - from allmusic

    After a couple of albums that incorporated the influences of living in Spain (flamenco guitars,
    Spanish lyrics,) singer/songwriter Josh Rouse changes course on The Happiness Waltz to make an
    album that would have fit in well with those he was making in the early 2000s like 1972 and
    Nashville. Weaving together elements of country-rock, soft rock, Americana, and classic
    singer/songwriter sounds, Rouse and his longtime producer Brad Jones create a tightly arranged,
    beautifully constructed sound that matches Rouse's smoothly crooned vocals perfectly. Acoustic
    and electric guitars are nicely layered, keyboards and nice sonic touches (like horn sections)
    fill the edges of the songs in with color, and the occasional pedal steel sounds really nice --
    the duo know how to make a fine-sounding record. While there aren't any songs that are as hooky
    as the best songs from the aforementioned albums, there are a few that stick in the memory like
    the bubbly "Julie (Come Out of the Rain)" or the bouncy "A Lot Like Magic." The rest are
    pleasant and easygoing, but never really capture the imagination. Rouse sounds like he's
    cruising lyrically -- writing a song about writing songs ("Our Love") is usually a sure
    indication that someone is getting closes to the bottom of the inspiration barrel. Especially
    when the same song talks about putting the kids to bed. The reason it's hard to write him and
    the album off is that the song is absolutely beautiful, sounding like 10cc producing Al Green
    and creating a fluffy mood that is heartwarmingly sweet. It's a music vs. lyrics disconnect
    that happens again and again, and makes the album hard to get a grasp on. A little more passion
    in the vocals and songs that are actually about something would have made The Happiness Waltz a
    triumphant return, instead it feels like backtracking. It was time for Rouse to end his musical
    vacation and go back to his traditional sound; it's just too bad he takes it so easy. That
    being said, a mediocre Josh Rouse album is still good for a few listens, especially if you
    don't listen to what he's saying and just let the music's sunny warmth fill you up.

    Track Listing

    1. Julie (Come Out of The Rain)
    2. Simple Pleasures
    3. It's Good to Have You
    4. City People
    5. This Movie's Way Too Long
    6. Our Love
    7. A Lot Like Magic
    8. Start A Family
    9. The Western Isles
    10. Purple And Beige
    11. The Ocean
    12. The Happiness Waltz
    A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.
    Will Rogers

  2. #2


    very good call on Paul Simon MH...

    i dont like the song you linked,but neither do i not like it

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