Arrica Rose & The ...'s - Let Alone Sea
2011, pOprOck Records
2011, pOprOck Records
You might say that performing is in Arrica Rose's bloodline. Her great uncle, Lou Monte, was responsible for such novelty hits as "Pepino The Italian Mouse", "Dominick The Donkey" and "Lazy Mary". Her father was a character actor in a series of mob films, including Mario Puzo's The Godfather. Arrica Rose first picked up a guitar at the age of fifteen, cutting her musical teeth in L.A. area punk rock band Uxby and sharing the stage with acts such as Commander Venus, Still Life and Jimmy Eat World. A detour through film school found her delving more into sound production and scoring, but Arrica Rose was destined for the stage. Upon graduation, she formed her new band (the Dot, Dot, Dots). Rose has continued to develop her sound. The latest step in that development on August 22, 2011, when Rose's own pOprOck Records releases her third full-length album, Let Alone Sea.
Let Alone Sea blends ethereality and melancholy in pulsing doses of sound, with Arrica Rose's unique voice undulating across the soundscape like a wayward shooting star. Sonically she's an intriguing blend of Tori Amos and Kate Bush, but stylistically she has a great deal in common with Hope Sandoval. Rose shows a definite pop sensibility on the opening track, "Everybody", while offering up a pouty, sometimes sexy vocal line. Her alto voice is both formless and distinct, undulating like a wave form coming in and out of phase. This effect within the song's lush arrangement is intriguing. "Sail Away" is a pretty ballad, set in the tones of an oil painting with ethereal brush strokes of sound set as highlights. "If The World Won't Bend" is either a distinct show of faith or a disturbing subservience, dashed off in a pretty, languorous melody over yet another lush landscape of sound.
Rose changes pace with "Summer's Gonna Burn Me (So Are You)", blending elements of jazz, folk and ethereal pop. This is the most intriguing work on the album, with Rose's blend of smooth sound and rough textures keeping the careful listener on edge throughout. "Riverbed" flows like its title implies, while "Nothing Nada Nothing" and "Pot Of Gold" give solid structure to the back end of the album without standing out on their own. Arrica Rose wraps up with a contemplative and halting medley entitled "Video Killed The Radio Star (Wonderful World)", which intermixes passages from The Buggles 1980's hit with Louis Armstrong's signature song. It's an odd marriage that works almost in spite of itself. Rose's voice is at its most enchanting here, and the gorgeous arrangement makes the whole affair seem like a dream you'll try to recapture once you wake.
Arrica Rose isn't going to appeal to everyone, but those who listen deeply and appreciate her almost other-worldly sound will be absolutely enchanted. Let Alone Sea shows a musical vision that is far from highways and byways of pop radio, yet retains a deep pop sensibility that's inescapable. Let Alone Sea is an album you can listen to a hundred times, each time picking out new layers and textures to discover. You don't want to miss this one.
Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about Arrica Rose & The ...'s at www.arricarose.com or www.myspace.com/arricarose. Let Alone Sea drops on August 22, 2011. Keep checking Rose's website for availability.