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Under Cold Blue Stars

Josh RouseAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Price: $8.60 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Josh Rouse and The Long Vacations Oh, Look What The Sun Did!


"Songwriting for me is something I have to do to stay on the sunny side of life. It's my therapy. I pick up a guitar from time to time and it spills out. I feel lucky in that, after years of being blessed by their presence, the song spirits are still moving through me”

It may have been 15+ years - from roots in rural Nebraska, through time in ‘Music City’ ... Read more in Amazon's Josh Rouse Store

Visit Amazon's Josh Rouse Store
for 19 albums, 5 photos, videos, and 2 full streaming songs.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 19, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Slow River Records
  • ASIN: B00005UOWM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,824 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Twilight
2. Nothing Ever Gives Me Pleasure
3. Miracle
4. Christmas With Jesus
5. Under Cold Blue Stars
6. Ugly Stories
7. Feeling No Pain
8. Ears To The Ground
9. Summer Kitchen Ballad
10. Women And Men
11. The Whole Night Through

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Under Cold Blue Stars, the third album from native Nebraskan Josh Rouse, is full of elegant, melodic pop songs that are deftly understated but carry hooks as catchy as Coldplay's (whose music the opening song, "Twilight," uncannily evokes). This is music for folk in love with Americana and timeless pop; it's a gentle hinterland of melancholy and hope. The loose concept behind Under Cold Blue Stars is that of a fractious couple in the late 1950s, trying to come to terms with their lives and relationship. "Christmas with Jesus" is an unashamedly beautiful realization of their struggles, as is the upbeat title track, which touches on sources as diverse as Nils Lofgren, the Cure, and even Bruce Springsteen (albeit, a Springsteen shorn of all pride and aggrandizement). All this adds up to make Under Cold Blue Stars rather special. --Everett True

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rouse-ing Success! December 10, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Josh Rouse has developed into one of the best American rock songwriters that few people have ever heard of. Tagged as an "Alternative Country" artist because of the slight twang that infected his earlier efforts, Rouse's sound has evolved to become the kind of mainstream rock that was hugely popular back in the 1970's, but is considered progressive and edgy these days. That said, "Under the Cold Blue Stars" is good enough to deserve a Ryan Adams-like breakthrough to mass popularity. Rouse's voice is at times a dead ringer for Admas and his songwriting is much more disciplined.
The best track on the album is the single "Miracle," which contains a killer hook and a sweet meoldy. "Feeling no Pain" is another pop rock gem in a similar mode, while "Christmas With Jesus," "Ugly Stories," "Women and Men" and the quiet closing ballad "The Whole Night Through" are also excellent. The album is relatively brief at only 11 tracks, but contains no clunkers.
Overall, an outrstanding mainstream rock album that deserves a wider audience.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Josh does it again... February 24, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
With "Under Cold Blue Stars" Josh Rouse earns a reason to be labeled one of the best singer/songwriters on the scene today, along with Pete Yorn, John Mayer, and Ryan Adams. Popping up in such movies as "Hamlet" and "Vanilla Sky" Josh is set to finally bust out into the mainstream. On this album, he takes a slightly more "homegrown" and mellancholly approach to his music than "Home". Definitely pick up this CD (if you can find it.) Stand out tracks are "Miracle" and "Feeling No Pain."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His third... and (ultimately) his best... May 4, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Josh Rouse's third CD, Under Cold Blue Stars is a significant improvement over his previous efforts. Here for the first time, he has put together a collection of songs with a common theme (a "song cycle").
The concept of the CD describes the day to day pitfalls and emotional turmoil of two people trying to keep their relationship from falling apart. The songs are thematically linked and they sort of "flow" from one to another.
Fans of Rouse's previous work will be pleased to know that all of his charming embellishments are still present. His gentle, wistful delivery... his affable mid-western accent... and his increasing interest in 70's soul music (see title track here; and also the song "Marvin Gaye" from his previous Home CD).
The best songs here are: "Miracle", "Christmas With Jesus", "Summer Kitchen Ballad", "Women and Men" and the title track, "Under Cold Blue Stars".
Folky and surreal, melancholy and melodic, this CD sounds best when played in it's entirety rather than skipping around from song to song. I prefer to listen to it at night... and let it's bleak, ethereal and strangely beautiful vision sweep across my room. If you like neo-folk or alt-country (like Wilco) you will probably also enjoy this excellent CD. Highly Recommended !
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh, Yeah, get under these cold blue stars...... March 31, 2003
Format:Audio CD
This is a beautifully crafted set of songs. All the songs relate to a relationship that went awry. "Nothing Gives Me Pleasure" chronicles the beginning, when you are so happy because you think you got the right one, which goes into "Miracle" because that person feels the same. Then you got a man trying to understand and be a part of his wife's fervent religious beliefs, then the child (children?) comes, then the affair, the breakup, and the trying to work within a comfort zone of caring and understanding. The musical arrangements shimmer-they are just beautiful and melodic, and belie the downbeat lyrics in many of the songs. He certainly doesn't have the greatest singing voice, but it is well suited to these kind of songs, and he sings with heaps of emotion and sincerity that really makes you FEEL the songs! It's a shame that radio can't find a spot for this kind of recording, because it really is one of the best cd's I've heard this year. Highly recommended!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superbly Crafted Album! February 24, 2002
Format:Audio CD
This is one of those c.d.'s that I really loved from the first minute I heard it.It has a real sense of instant accessibility yet when you give it a few more listens you discover that it is an album of amazing depth.
Musically it sounds so much like Lambchop meeting the voice of Ryan Adams-at times the similarities are almost uncanny.Vocally Rouse has that same coarse vocal style of Adams and the background music has the sound I loved so much on Lambchop's Nixon c.d.It came as no surprise when I heard subsequently that Rouse had worked with Kurt Wagner on a previous e.p.Musically it has that alt/country sound but with a little more funky rhythm guitar playing.The tracks have a real laidback sort of cruising feel to them-especially the initial tracks.The second half of the album grows noticeably darker.And this is where I discovered the albums extra hidden depth.
Under The Cold Blue Stars is in fact a sort of concept album-as there seems to be a storyline connecting the whole thing together.The album's lyrics tell of a couple who live in small-town America some decades ago.The two main characters a man and a woman seem both very different and this album traces there happiness right through to their ultimate downfall.It sort of explains why the first tracks are so upbeat and the latter half is way darker.The whole mood change occurs exactly halfway through the album with the tale of adultery and betrayal with the track "Ugly Stories"-Rouse sings about how you can never trust anyone.You'd expect this track to be really slow and melancholic,but instead it's a gentle acoustic driven number with wonderful organ sound,it's almost got a resigned sound rather then the sound of complete anger or desperation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Listenable but just a taste of better things to come
I listened to Under Cold Blue Stars for the first time this week after listening to Rouse's later efforts El Turista and The Happiness Waltz. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Eric J. Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars One of his best
Just beautiful. I'm new to Josh, and also have Nashville which is also great. This is amazing, very dreamy. Read more
Published on April 18, 2010 by lillie
3.0 out of 5 stars Magical
I do really like this album, it has a breezier feel to it,more studio, i also have heard 1972,and Home, which i loved, Under cold blue stars has some really magical tracks ,... Read more
Published on July 7, 2008 by SapouNouFe
5.0 out of 5 stars Seek no more... Josh Rouse is it
If you feel that America has lacked a good singer-songwriter to fill in the shoes of the Bob Dylans and the Cat Stevens of the past, seek no more. Read more
Published on September 12, 2005 by Manny Hernandez
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Album by an amazing performer...
This is one of the most hypnotic alternative albums of the decade! I love this cd. There really are no words to describe how great the music is. Read more
Published on July 12, 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars No question, one of the best
If you like heartfelt acoustic rock, this is the album for you. Josh's laid back, matter of fact voice blends perfectly with the funk rhythm on Under the Cold Blue Stars (think... Read more
Published on June 22, 2004 by J. Wells
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected
I first heard Josh Rousse on a Various Artists album, and this was the first Josh Rousse album I've purchased. Read more
Published on October 22, 2003 by Dark Lord
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Listening
Under Cold Blue Stars is one of my favorites. Josh Rouse has a talent for writing wonderful songs and he shines on this disc.
Every tune is a keeper... Read more
Published on June 16, 2003 by "allfivebees"
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Understated Pop
What is pop music? While that word may bring to mind the endless drone of top 40 radio, it certainly goes well beyond that. Read more
Published on March 11, 2003 by Daniel J. DeLuca
4.0 out of 5 stars The Music of the 'Stars'
As a pop album with a soul, Josh Rouse's Under Cold Blue Stars confronts the beaten boundaries of pop music while comfortably remaining within their confines. Read more
Published on January 29, 2003 by Gianmarco Manzione
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