Album review: "With Love"
By Mike Joyce
Friday, March 16, 2012
Like the late Karen Carpenter, singer-songwriter Rosie Thomas has such a lovely voice that it’s easy to overlook a trite lyric. Or even a string of them, as Thomas’s new album, “With Love,” illustrates.
If Thomas sounds grateful to be alive these days, who could blame her? She recently recovered from a long health battle and anxiety. No doubt writing and recording songs inspired by some of her favorite pop singers (Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell) proved therapeutic for the veteran tunesmith and perhaps all the more so because she was surrounded by several indie-pop friends in the studio.
You can’t knock Thomas’s attitude and sincerity any more than you can fault her vocal charms and the album’s smart production. But her lyrics, well, they’re hit and miss. Take, for example, the opening verse from “Over the Moon”: “When I think of your love / It puts a joy in my step / The way you play with my heart / Makes me your instrument.” All that’s missing from this greeting card is a stamp.
Fortunately, there’s more here to enjoy than just the utterly disarming sound of Thomas’s voice.
She’s at her best when conjuring a soulfully longing mood on “In Time” and when vividly recounting the recent past on “A Really Long Year.”