It's not hard to understand why gushing reviews of Caitlin Rose's sophomore LP continue to multiply. It's good, it's safe and the powers that be (some of whom touted Lana Del Rey, mind you) have told us to like it. The truth is that the record is good and, yes, it's safe, but it most certainly isn't memorable (with the exception of opening track "No One to Call," a blend of Patti Page and Lucinda Williams at a cheesy '60s pop-rock karaoke event, which lingers in your mind in a most unpleasant way). The rest of the album goes down easy, thanks to Rose's honeyed vocals, which bask in the glow of the record's laid-back soundscape of slide guitars and familiar country trappings. There's no question that The Stand-In is a step-up from her previous effort; her delivery and songwriting show a confidence that previously lacking. However, The Stand-In is no stand out. If you're looking for a chill country record that plays quietly in the background without vying for your attention, then this one comes highly recommended.
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