Come a Little Closer is a coming of age album. Alison Rose speaks from the perspective of new-found wisdom without even verging on being insufferable. Throughout the album, one gets a sense that Rose is carving out a home for herself in the world and using music to do so. She comes to terms with the cruel reality of the world, while settling on an optimistic perspective. Come a Little Closer is fun and familiar, yet also like nothing else I have heard before.
Through a combination of acoustic sounds and poppy beats Rose creates indie pop rock at its finest. Rose could be compared to artists like Ingrid Michaelson and Feist, both of who also find a balance between fun lyrics and fiery beats while maintaining an honest tone. Rose cites Feist’s 2007 album The Reminder as having particular influence on her as well as Live It Out by Metric.
Alison Rose brings an intensity and immediacy that elevates her music from typical ho-hum singer-songwriter material. Her innovative use of instruments and sounds also creates a welcome element of whimsy. Birds chirp on the darkly quiet acoustic tune “I’m Going Insane” and drumsticks tap on a counter on several tracks. These subtle, magnificent details create an illusion of spontaneity. Many tracks sound as though they flow from Rose on the spot (in a good way). Rose also experiments with electronic sounds and manipulation of feedback. These risks also elevate her sound to something new and wonderfully peculiar.
Rose’s debut album Come a Little Closer represents the culmination of four years of work. She wrote most of the album as a full-time student. She would write and record during weekends and moments of spare time, often going to her parents isolated cabin in eastern Ontario. Rose then mixed the album on her laptop and had it mastered by Jay Fee at Conduction Mastering in Ottawa.
Although the album is a long thirteen tracks and touches on several different genres, overall it maintains a cohesion. Rarely does it drag or feel overworked. Some of the song transitions were abrupt, but this can be easily forgiven. Rose has given us a ferocious album of self-discovery and internal comprehension and I look forward to hearing more.
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