The Washington Post

Album review: Caitlin Rose, “Own Side Now”

Echoes of those women’s music, as well as that of the McGarrigle sisters and a female country pioneer or two, can be heard throughout the 10 performances here. The cozy, parlor-song ethos of the McGarrigles is maybe the most pronounced, especially on “Things Change” and the lilting title track. And yet, just as soon as one of these influences suggests itself, it’s eclipsed by the muted force of Rose’s personality. “Who’s gonna want me / When I’m just somewhere you’ve been,” she asks in a willowy soprano, wondering if she’ll ever be loved again in “Own Side,” one of the record’s handful of quietly devastating tracks.

Several others, including the ironically self-deprecating “Learnin’ to Ride,” favor lightly cantering beats and subtle filigrees of acoustic instrumentation. The undulating “For the Rabbits” is more fleshed out musically, featuring orchestration and tremolo guitar. “Shanghai Cigarettes” is hooked by nimble hand claps and cascading rhythms.

“Love is just one more useless thing you don’t need but you can’t throw away,” Rose wryly asserts on the harmonica-sweetened “Spare Me.” Her take on love and romance notwithstanding, there isn’t a disposable note on her record, an album that not only rewards repeated listening but, given half a chance, will warm — and break — your heart.

Recommended tracks: “Spare Me,” “Own Side,” “For the Rabbits”


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
How to make Sean Brock's 'Heritage' cornbread
New limbs for Pakistani soldiers
The signature dish of Charleston, S.C.
Play Videos
Why seasonal allergies make you miserable
John Lewis, 'Marv the Barb' and the politics of barber shops
What you need to know about filming the police
Play Videos
The Post taste tests Pizza Hut's new hot dog pizza
5 tips for using your thermostat
Michael Bolton's cinematic serenade to Detroit
Play Videos
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
The signature drink of New Orleans