Rose Kemp

After reading her labelís description, I was really looking forward to listening to this album by Rose Kemp. DIY music apprenticeship? Check. Folk-Rock heritage? Check. Comparisons to PJ Harvey? Check. All sounds pretty promising, I thought. So I was a bit disappointed to find that the CD sounded closer to angst-rock bands like Skunk Anansie: all bad relationships, threat and woe-is-me-isms.

Now, donít get me wrong, this is still a well put-together album. The musicianship is top-notch, the song writing is creative and at points really tender Ė like in the opening track Little One. And the album isnít without its plus points. Kempís folky sensibilities are demonstrated most clearly on tracks like Tiny Flower, with its lyrics sung as a canon, swirling around a central deaden beat, and especially on the a capella Sister Sleep. The discordant crescendos on Violence lends the track a sense of brooding anomie, and the varied, contrasting musical phrases on tracks like Metal Bird would probably play extremely well live, where the energy of performance would bring an added dimension to the song. But, to these ears at least, it kind of seems done before. One Iíd certainly recommend for fans of emo, but not really for me.

John Richardson