Josh Rouse Subtitulo

Call this Josh Rouse’s Spanish period. The prolific songsmith’s last album, 2005’s Nashville, was a farewell ode to the town he was leaving for Mediterranean shores. It is not hard to detect the influence of his new abode here, as much of Subtitulo is as sunny, breezy and light as a Spanish afternoon (it was recorded there). This continues its creator’s steady movement away from the melancholia-tinged feel of such earlier acclaimed albums as Home and Under Cold Blue Stars. Thankfully, he has retreated a little from the strings-laden schmaltz of his 1972 disc, though excessive use of strings do mar a couple of tunes here, including the disco-tinged "Giving It Up.” To these ears, less is more for Rouse, as he shows on tunes like "Jersey Clowns” and the gorgeous instrumental "La Costa Blanca.” With its contrasting soft male and female vocals, "The Man Who” could actually be a Stars song. Given his warm and accessible voice and winning ways with a melody, it’s a little surprising Rouse hasn’t attracted a larger audience. Subtitulo may be short (just 33 minutes), but it is a sweet aural treat with which to greet the approaching summer. (Nettwerk)