ANNA_ROSE_PIC_phixrAll right.   I’m basically a rocker at heart.     If I have to listen to female singers, I prefer female rockers that can also deliver a ballad.     After many years of listening to just about every genre on the planet, I’m very picky when it comes to personally judging female singers.   Most of the female vocal renderings that find their way into my mailbox are lucky to survive the first few tracks on my CD player before I eject them.   If there’s nothing catchy, original, or its just ballad folksinger stereotype rehash, out they go!  
Anna Rose did pass the test.   She held my interest.   Not that her voice immediately grabbed me, but the material and delivery is interesting.   A little Joni Mitchell, a little bit Heart, while changing speeds.   What a concept on this compilation of songs (all written by Anna), storytelling without trashing the opposite sex.   Who would’ve thunk it?   The daughter of noted composer Alan Menken, she grew up playing first the piano, then guitar at the ripe old age of five.   This EP is a prelude to the forthcoming release Nomad.

The Four Corners has that “Joni” feel to it, quick short phrasing playing off the clicking acoustic guitar backing.   Picture is a sharply put together story tune.   In The Morning View is an easygoing vocal driven, chord-thumping piece.   Wilshire Blvd. is a nicely paced ballad, on which her voice comes off softer.   You Got It For Free almost has that Celtic vibe (that I’ve grown to hate), but some clever guitar work pulls it out safely.  

Arlen Roth of guitar lick teaching fame (that Anna calls her favorite guitarist) lends his talents to the disc.   Easy to listen to, and catchy enough to put back in the machine for another go around.   If she comes around, she’s worth catching.   After all, her idol is Jimi Hendrix.   That in itself should tell you something!  


[Rating: 3.5/5]

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