Album Review

Caitlin Rose - CAZIMI

CAZIMI finds Rose exploring new sounds, but sticking to the same topics that garnered her those rising star epithets years ago.

Caitlin Rose - CAZIMI Album Review

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For a moment, Caitlin Rose sounds indecisive. “You’ve got your reason to stay / I've got mine too / We’re only running away from something new”. A descending bass line opens up the album, while an acoustic guitar shimmers in the ether. For a second, you hold your breath. Then the rest of 'Carried Away' does exactly what its title suggests.

It’s hard not to call it a comeback. In the early 2010s, Nashville’s Caitlin Rose was one of those names that you’d be proud to listen to, trusting that sooner or later she’d get her big break. While it’s now been a few seasons, this might finally be that time.

CAZIMI finds Rose exploring new sounds, but sticking to the same topics that garnered her those rising star epithets years ago.

CAZIMI is most alive in its contradictions, where Rose’s soothing melodies meet their maker in her anxious lyrics. Early highlight 'Modern Dancing', with its heavy drums and preppy chiming lines, builds to an instrumental solo that sounds something like a countrified Vampire Weekend. While the refrain “I've got a romance with ruin / and we're only modern dancing” focuses on self-sabotage, it remains a damn danceable track.

While the new sounds go together tastefully, at times the subject matter fits together a little too well. CAZIMI contains more than a few songs where Rose wittily addresses a lover or a problem, but the writing often relies on cliches that have the effect of keeping emotion at arm’s length.

This is most true of the album’s middle run, which could perhaps have been resequenced. Nevertheless, the instrumental work throughout deserves praise, especially the excellent guitar work on 'Getting it Right' and 'Nobody’s Sweetheart'. The record's producer, Jordan Lehning, was a critical factor in Rose returning in the studio - his vision here is clear and fluid.

CAZIMI ends with the cathartic 'Only Lies', a potent mix of uptempo roots rock and bittersweet melody. When Rose coos, “I've got a feeling that I won't be hanging round”, you pray she won't disappear for another nine years this time around.

8 / 10

Caitlin Rose's 2022 album, CAZIMI, is released November 18th via Missing Piece Records. You can purchase the record from one of Holler's selected partners below:

Caitlin Rose - CAZIMI Album Review

Missing Piece | 2022

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