Rosehill - White Lines And Stars
2010, Cypress Creek Records
Cypress, Texas duo Rosehill (Mitch McBain and Blake Myers) turned in their road shoes a few years back for the comforts of home. The veterans of regional favorites High Life couldn't stop making music however, and have crafted an album of distinctly pop-oriented country tunes entitled White Lines And Stars, due out on October 12, 2010. The album plays like a love album written from a road warrior who longs for home. Produced by Radney Foster and Jay Clementi, White Lines And Stars has already made some noise on the music charts in Texas and seems destined to follow a similar course nationally.
White Lines And Stars opens with "West Of Sunset", a solid bit of pop/country with a strong melody. "West Of Sunset" captures the urgent restlessness that might drive a young couple to suddenly leave town and seek their fortunes beyond the horizon they can see every day. It's a romantic tune sparked by a leap of faith. "White Lines And Stars" has already made its mark on the Texas radio charts, an easy-going love song that seems to be a follow-up to "West Of Sunset". "Believer" sticks with the love song mode, a syrupy ballad perfect for commercial radio; the sort that seems indispensable when you first hear it but grows stale with multiple listens. "Picassos For Pesos" is a lament and coming to terms told from the perspective of the perpetual bachelor. He's spent his entire life playing the wild fields, found the emptiness brings and is now looking for something real. The mix of regret and sorrow here presses upon the listener like an urgent wind.
"Sunday" is a love song from the road for the one back home. It's a song of optimism and hope that reflects the truth of a life spent mostly apart. It's catchy pop/country that's likely to have mass appeal. "Midnight America" is a folky southern-rock tune in the image of John Mellencamp. The pop sense here is strong, and the guitar work going on behind the scenes is worth paying attention to. "Life Is Short" is likely to be a Friday night anthem and a mainstay on country radio should the 3 programmers in the US who handle the genre be listening. This is a great song to two-step to, and speaks to anyone who's gotten bogged down in the nine-to-five rat race. "Like We Knew It Would" is a joyful celebration of love and its healing power; a catchy country-rock tune that manages to sound commercial without trying. Rosehill closes with "Love Burns On", a song about permanence that's probably a bit of overkill. "Like We Knew It Would" would have closed the album perfectly.
Rosehill might get a bit too caught up in the love songs on White Lines And Stars, but it's refreshing to hear an album about relationships that isn't cynical, snarky or full of deep-seated anger for a change. Rosehill is a refreshing change from the cultural angst that often drives popular music these days. Even though White Lines And Stars may have a bit of a pro-forma country feel at times, the songs are the sort of catchy country ear candy that will be appealing to a lot of listeners both in the country music community and without. White Lines And Stars is a pleasing experience.
Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)