Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Album Review: Anna Rose - Nomad

Given her history, New York-based singer-songwriter Anna Rose should be among some of the most prominent young musicians today. As a child, she studied with guitarist Arlen Roth, former cohort of the likes of Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. Her father is none other than the massively talented Alen Menken, whose film scores for Disney classics such as Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast earned him Academy Awards and international acclaim.

On June 8, she released her first full-length album, Nomad. Though it's a decent listen, Anna Rose falls short with this over-reaching, underachieving debut.

The title suggests a wanderer, someone who never takes the time to settle down. Though it may have been true for Anna Rose, who bounced back and forth between New York and Los Angeles, the same can not be said for the songs themselves. All of them hunker down together, content with their folk-pop label. There is a bright spot with "I'll Be Gone" when things get more bluesy, but alas, the spot fades and never really returns once the song ends.

Anna Rose's vocals are refreshing in that you can actually hear them. She sounds like the musical love-child of Jewel, Joni Mitchell, perhaps even a gentler Janis Joplin.

From time to time, the record does sound a bit too ambitious. It's perfectly polished and squeaky-clean, at times making it sound like just another earnest girl-next-door type with an acoustic guitar. The chords and rhythms have been well-worn by an army of musicians before her, which definitely pulls Nomad down a bit.

Anna Rose currently has no tour dates scheduled anywhere. She definitely has potential, but for now, just doesn't shine.

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