Stacie Rose,
This is Mine
(Enchanted, 2002)

New Jersey-based singer-songwriter Stacie Rose follows up her critically acclaimed EP with her first full-length recording, This is Mine, a collection of finely crafted folk-pop songs. She has a talent for catchy tunes; most of the songs could be dismissed as bubblegum pop songs if you were only listening to the music. It's her lyrics that set her songs apart from the crowd.

Rose's vocals are backed by Jeff Lipstein (drums), John Abbey and Byron Isaacs (bass), Rob McKeever and Mike Daly (guitars) and Andrew Hollander (organ and piano), among others. All the songs sound very full -- but the vocals, and therefore, the lyrics, take centre stage.

Catchy pop hooks on songs like "Checkin' Out," "Swimmers and Slaves" and "Shine" set the tone for the record and make me want to listen to more. On tracks like "The Angel Song," "Put You On" and "Promised Land," which features a gospel singalong, Rose explores themes of hope and redemption. Most of her songs are written with a positive outlook -- but with a subtlety that leaves final interpretation up to the listener.

I was touched immediately by the pleading of "Your Girl," which is intensified by a beautiful string arrangement. Another track that really stands out is "We Got Love," Rose's prayer to the victims of 9-11. McKeever accompanies her on acoustic guitar and her voice is full of emotion: "I'll pray for sunlight on your face/I'll pray your tears will melt away/And if we try, I know we can be free again/We can still fly, over this pain." Her voice is very expressive -- strong when it needs to be; but fragile at times as well.

This is Mine is exactly the kind of record to put on at the end of a tough day. It'll let you shake off some stress without demanding too much intellectual strain to enjoy it. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Stacie Rose becomes a radio darling very soon.

- Rambles
written by Rachel Jagt
published 8 March 2003

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