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EP REVIEW: Rod + Rose (Rodney Atkins & Rose Falcon)

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Rod & Rose

Rose Falcon is no stranger to country music, having previously written tracks for Lady A, Faith Hill and Eric Paslay. She’s a successful singer-songwriter in her own right, and has joined her husband, fellow singer-songwriter Rodney Atkins to form new duo Rod + Rose, who release their self-titled maiden 5 track EP this Friday. They’ve worked together previously on Rodney’s solo projects with Rose providing backing vocals on every song on his last album, but this is their first release as a duo.

Rodney has had success over the years with big well produced songs like “If You’re Going Through Hell”, “Watching You” and “It’s America” amongst others all reaching number 1, but this project marks a departure from his usual sound. The word that keeps popping up in my head when I listen is ‘dreamy’, so expect to read that word a few times in this review. It’s a more mellow sound overall, with their vocals complimenting each other in a way that’s been honed over the last decade of working together.

The EP kicks off with a familiar guitar twang that anyone who’s listened to a Rodney Atkins album will recognize, but as first song “Being Here Being There” progresses we move away from what has become his hallmark into more of a relaxed vibe, complimented by Rose’s breathy vocals. It’s a song about commitment and with both singers taking it in turns to provide the lead vocals it’s a very good introduction to the kind of music you’ll find on this project.

“Fine By Me” starts off with a killer banjo lick and has an overall sound that’s more in Rod’s wheelhouse. Rose takes more of a backseat in this, adding her backing vocals expertly throughout to great effect in what is the only song of its type here. It’s a rollicking number and Rod growls downhome lyrics about southern living like an angry rottweiler:

….“Rooster in the hen house, chicken and the dumplin’s
Front porch pickin’, back yard full of young’uns”…

On “Put Me Back Together”, “Anyway” and “Figure You Out” we revert back to dreamy love songs full of strings and harps territory – think Kacey Musgraves’ “Space Cowboy” from the album Golden Hour and you’re in the same sonic ballpark. It’s the kind of music I’d expect to hear playing in the ether if you were floating through the sky at night. “Figure You Out” in particular is beautiful. The version on this EP is the ‘Wedding Version’, which consists of just vocals and strings. I’d imagine there’ll be a fully produced version at some point but this ode to each other is the perfect way to round off what is a lovely little project.

Rod + Rose is a great introduction to the duo’s music, a touch of OG Rod in the mix will appeal to his long-time fans whilst segueing nicely into the new sound, and I for one look forward to hearing a full length production from them.

Ben Pinsent

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