Own Side Now

Caitlin Rose

ATO Records, 2021


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Originally released in 2010, this debut album from Nashville's Caitlin Rose receives the reissue treatment here, arriving with a pair of new bonus tracks as she finds a very inviting place to reside between classic country and indie-folk sounds.

Rose places “Learning To Ride” in the lead off position, where her pretty pipes are met with brushed drumming and warm acoustic guitar in a timeless Americana opening. “Own Side” then follows with a calmer approach of soulful singing alongside aching pedal steel and graceful piano.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Some of the best tracks land in the middle, including the country rocker “Shanghai Cigarettes,” where Rayland Baxter lends his pipes across the hand-clapping, toe-tapping melodies, while “New York” brings a frisky energy that's perfectly suited for The Big Apple's hectic pace. “Sinful Wishing Well,” one of the most powerful tracks, then showcases Rose's impressive range in an emotive, nearly cathartic moment of poetic, forthright songcraft that possesses much beauty.

The bonus tracks are the first new songs from Rose in eight years, and include the dreamy, almost cosmic feel of “Whatchoo” and the thumping, dense “Only Lies,” where a distinct haze follows the cautious dynamics.

Rose saw much praise for this first record, even including comparisons to Stevie Nicks and Linda Rondstadt. For the younger ears, perhaps Rilo Kiley is a more suitable comparison, and Rose's sweet singing certainly puts a very charming slant on the Nashville sound where the then-23-year-old artist sounds wiser than her years.

For the physical music inclined, you'll get colored wax to go with the remastered audio, an embossed gatefold, hologram sticker and a bonus 7” with the two unreleased tracks. If you missed it the first time, this serves as an essential component to Rose's body of work, and is a must for fans of Nashville's long history of country oriented music.

Rating: B+

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