Top critical review
on March 11, 2004
"Yeah yeah I'm borderline/Yeah yeah I'm California" sings Katy Rose in her debut, "Because I Can." The defiant title and jaded songs only add to the impression of Avril growing up into Liz Phair. But Rose's sarcastic little album has only a faux-bad-girl attitude.
The power-pop album starts off with the sarcastic, rather hollow "Overdrive," which sets the tone of the rest of "Because I Can." The remaining songs are a mix of the trite and gauzy ("Watching the Rain," the dark-airy "Enchanted"), shaky rockers (the shrieking "Vacation"), jazzier slow songs (L.A. song "Snowflakes") and the so-so acoustic ballad "Catch My Fall."
If Liz Phair brimmed over with teen angst, she would sound something like Rose. This teen not-pop singer informs us whenever she can that she is unhappy, jaded, disillusioned, but never really why. It's hard to take disillusionment seriously if it is baseless. As a result, Rose seems less like a "real" girl than a pretentious one with some musical promise.
The lyrics show some promise, but stumble over themselves with lines like "I can't stop thinking of your face/La la lee la lee loo lace." What? Sprinkled through them are too many references to blood, kisses, and the occasional Francesca Lia Block reference ("For Shangri-LA is always dry"). She has a nice grip on the electric piano and bass, but it doesn't really have the verve and originality that one would expect.
Katy Rose has some promise, that can't be denied. There are glimmers of talent in her songwriting and singing. But for now, it isn't worth checking out "Because I Can." Because she can't. Not yet, anyway.