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Rose Ave. [LP]
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  • P!nk isn't a stranger to naked confessionals -- her 2008 album Funhouse played like a dance-pop version of Shoot Out the Lights -- but she's never stripped her music down to the bone, which is what makes her You & Me side project with Dallas Green (of City and Colour, formerly of Alexisonfire) somewhat disarming. Rose Ave is tagged as a folk album and that's largely true. Sometimes, there are luscious touches -- such as waves of swooning strings and floating organs -- and the arrangements are often underpinned by sly percussion and keyboards, but usually Rose Ave doesn't feel like it's much more than P!nk and Green singing on the same microphone as Green strums his guitar. Such sparseness suggests intimacy and the prevalence of minor keys -- the sad sway of the opener "Capsized" sets the tone -- suggests melancholy, two elements that make Rose Ave feel cozy even when the music plays fairly broadly. Underneath the gentle acoustics, the melodies surge -- their stair-stepping leaps in octaves are tailor-made for P!nk's range -- which means Rose Ave doesn't feel quite as hushed as it otherwise might. Despite those big melodies, Rose Ave isn't particularly sticky in terms of songs. Certain phrases and certain harmonies have hooks, but what lingers is atmosphere: the feeling that this is the product of several late-night sessions where the mood wound up as more important than musical details. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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