Rosie Brown,
Clocks & Clouds
(Stuck, 2004)

Clocks & Clouds is an album that sweeps you gently along with its rapturous, chilled flow, and Rosie Brown's sensual vocals lull you into submission as the subtlest grooves envelop your senses. These are beautifully crafted, laidback songs, though it's not all ease and comfort -- "Move My Head" and "One Horse Tango" have a distinctly offbeat, jazzy vibe.

London-based Rosie Brown's poised voice is perfect for these original contemporary songs, and instrumentation is assured throughout. Bernd Rest's guitar playing abounds with detail, and keys, drums, double bass, sax, oboe, violin, trombone and vibes conspire with seeming ease -- never more so than on songs like "Rund" (with its deliciously psychedelic air -- that's the vibes for you!), "Late Night" (there's a second, stripped back piano-led version at the end of the album), "Ocean" (where the sax and acoustic guitar caress the dreamy, romantic vocal perfectly) and "Clouds" (with its beautiful oboe accompaniment) -- it's all so intoxicating. The addition of orchestral synth arrangements gives these songs an added subtlety.

The tempo shifts up a gear with the upbeat "Burning Orange" and "Sunray," where Brown's slightly staccato vocal style is so well suited to the percussion. "Lucidity" is a mesmerising song, crafted round the simplest guitar hook and drum and bass groove -- and wonderful sax playing. It's the ultimate late-night song -- and at just under 9 minutes, it's in no hurry to end!

It's the quality of the song writing and Rest's exquisite, restrained guitar arrangements that constantly draw me in -- his jazz-influenced playing wraps Rosie's elegant voice beautifully. This album would appeal strongly to those who enjoy the music of singers like Emiliana Torrini and KT Tunstall.

- Rambles
written by Debbie Koritsas
published 10 September 2005

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