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30 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 21, 2006
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Vinyl, Import, March 28, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

After successful albums such as 1972 and Nashville, Josh Rouse is gearing up for his latest release. Subtitulo is heavily influenced by Josh's move to Spain. Having spent many years in central Tennessee, Josh packed up his bags, bought a plane ticket and immersed himself into the lifestyle and customs of the Spanish culture; emerging with Subtitulo (which is Spanish for 'subtitled'). This influence shines throughout the upbeat (and largely romantic) tenor within each song on the new album. Nettwerk. 2006.

Josh Rouse is about as consistent an artist as they come. After 2003's apt-sounding 1972 and 2005's equally sepia-tinted Nashville, the risk was that Rouse would abandon his stonewashed sound and aim for something artificially on the ball and of the moment. Hasn't happened. Subtítulo, so named because the artist has curled himself up in the culture of his adopted country, Spain, is as stuck in the '70s as anything he's produced, only this time he's sprinkled on Basque-country flavoring. "Quiet Town" paints so pretty a picture of sleepy romantic Euro villa life that it comes across as a kick in the shin to daydreaming suburbanites; "Summertime" effectively recreates long days by Grandma's kidney-shaped pool; "It Looks Like Love" cops a Seals & Crofts soft-rock creaminess that goes down so easy it really has no business presenting itself in this decade; and "Jersey Clowns" clambers along thoughtfully, sweeping unsuspecting listeners up in a low-decibel tale of love gone wrong. Two Spanish tracks, "La Costa Blanca" and "El Otro Lado," look more out of place here than they sound; the first is instrumental, and the second is sung in regular old Rouse-ian English, give or take a few surprising Rufus Wainwright-like flourishes. Pick an adjective to attach to this disc, and invariably you'll come up with a tepid one like "nice." But you'll mean it in the best way possible. --Tammy La Gorce

1. Quiet Town
2. Summertime
3. It Looks Like Love
4. La Costa Blanca
5. Jersey Clowns
6. His Majesty Rides
7. Givin It Up
8. Wonderful
9. The Man Who?
10. El Otro Lado

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 21, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nettwerk Records
  • ASIN: B000EHQ850
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,192 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jessica in NE on November 24, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Following in the steps of the excellent "Nashville" album, this is one of those albums I like to set in the background while reading for hours. It's cheerful, mellow, lyrical, and most of all, soothing. If this sweet and quietly catchy music is what living in Spain leads to, then there's no pressure to move back to Nebraska.

Outstanding tracks: Summertime, Givin' it Up, and His Majesty Rides. Actually, all the tracks are consistently outstanding. If you like it, you'll love his previous albums, "Nashville" and "1972."

I recommend it for people who enjoy Keane, Jack Johnson, Coldplay, Joseph Arthur, Pete Yorn, Sondre Lerche, John Mayer, Matt Nathanson, Teitur, Ben Kweller, Guster, the Jayhawks, Amos Lee, and Sufjan Stevens.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Peter Shermeta VINE VOICE on April 12, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Josh Rouse recently moved to Spain. He set up shop and wrote Subtitulo in a week after arriving. It is a short album in length, but there is no shortage of stories. There is a folk feel in each song as singer takes listener for a ride. If you like the genre, which is a slower indie rock (I actually like to call it "soundtrack music" since it would be perfectly suited to just play in the background while we go on with our day to day activities) check Josh out. Rouse has made seven albums, and each is slightly different. I am confident there is one you could enjoy. Subtitulo is the seventh and most recent. It jockeys back and forth with Nashville for my favorite of his work. But they are also the albums I have listened to the most. One thing that can be said about Josh Rouse is that no matter who his tracks remind you of, he keeps his own style to never get lost in the crowd.

This album came out under his own Bedroom Classics Records.

"I started Bedroom Classics after my previous record contract ended. I had talked to quite a few labels but the reality was that there weren't many benefits for an artist like myself at a big corporation" Rouse stated. "With my own label, I can give my fans music through the internet or through traditional outlets more often - as it should be. My goals in doing this are to keep making records and to earn enough to keep going...which in my eyes is success." -joshrouse

01. Quiet Town Not in other tracks, but definitely in this song I think Josh Rouse has a slight Paul Simon sound to him. I think the music contributes a good amount, however. This is a nice song about preferring life in a small town even when it means giving up all the opportunities the big city has to offer.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Doig on April 3, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Barely a year after releasing the glorious Nashville, Josh Rouse has returned with Subtitulo, his first album since relocating to Spain. It continues a fine run of melodic, bittersweet folk/rock albums for the talented singer-songwriter stretching back to his 1998 debut All Dressed Up Like Nebraska. Song titles like 'La Costa Blanca' and 'El Otro Lado' might lead one to think that Rouse is trying his hand at much more Spanish influenced material here, but no, thankfully, Subtitulo is the usual exquisite blend of 70's influenced rock, pop, soul, folk, and country that we've come to know and love from him.

Opener 'Quiet Town' addresses Rouse's new life in a Spanish village, and it's idyllic surroundings would appear to find the normally pensive songwriter in a more relaxed frame of mind - even if the everpresent melancholy in his voice might suggest otherwise. On the blissful and somewhat raunchy 'It Looks Like Love' the first traces of a Spanish lilt creep into Rouse's vocals, and as usual, love is never far from his thoughts. Over an irresistable groove Rouse sings "here comes that melancholy feeling again" - and you know all too well what he's talking about. Another highlight is the tantalizingly titled 'The Man Who...' - an intriguing duet with Rouse's Spanish girlfriend Paz Suay on which it is revealed that the protagonist is "the man who doesn't know how to smile". Suay's delightful voice reminds me of a Spanish girl I got to know recently on a long distance bus ride. She was lovely - so too is this song.

Also of note is the beautiful and evocative instrumental track 'La Costa Blanca', the poignant, downcast buddy-song 'Jersey Clowns' and 'Givin' It Up' which has a distinctive Barry White symphonic groove thang goin' on.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michael DENNISUK VINE VOICE on March 26, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I'm new to Josh Rouse. I heard his interview on NPR last month and downloaded a few of his songs. I bought "Subtitulo" this weekend and have found it addictively outstanding. His sound is reminiscent of John Mayer and Jack Johnson.

Mr. Rouse is an expatriated American living in Spain. "Quiet Town" leads off the CD and sets the tone - breezy, sunny south of Spain.

My other early favorites are "Jersey Clowns" (which reminds me of Steve Forbert or Steve Earle) and "The Man Who" (excellent vocal by his spanish girlfriend). The album is solid from start to finish.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Koh Mochizuki on March 23, 2006
Format: Audio CD
What's so appealing about Josh Rouse is his ability to adapt his songwriting skills like a chameleon, by siphoning inspiration from his surroundings. This time, he's created a brilliant, melodic confection which was recorded in Spain, to where he's recently moved. But without compromising his trademark, indie folk/rock roots reminscent of the 70's, he fills the aural palette with inflections of bossa nova without hitting you over the head with it.

The result is charming and eloquent. Subtitulo is stylistically effortless and unforced with highlights including the playful "Summertime," and the blissfully elegant "Jersey Clowns." It also goes without saying that "Quiet Town" is a strong opener as he regales the listener with a taste of his recent acclimation with an upbeat hook.

With every album release, this one being no exception, I've come to admire his elusive tendencies, steering clear of the commercial MTV spotlight as his musicianship provides sufficient sustenance with his own luminosity. Without imposing industry pressures, Rouse follows his own muse wherever that may be to cultivate his music. And he does it well.

Whether he chooses to remain in Spain or whatever corner of the globe he may be for his next recording, I'm sure to follow where his music takes me. If you're a fan or a first time listener of Rouse's music, Subtitulo is one destination you'll be happy to have reached.
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