Monday, June 11, 2012

Nick Rosen review - LA Record

Nick Rosen - Violet

I get wary of any artist biography that references Jeremy Piven. That’s the kind of information I would keep to myself. Nonetheless, multi-instrumentalist Nick Rosen, amid his more impressive credentials, proudly includes the one-time George Costanza impersonator as a collaborator. Thankfully John Cusack’s right-hand man is not on this album but Rosen does get an assist from a bunch of friends including KCRW mainstay Anthony Valadez and Dexter Story. This new album moves at a very slow pace. With song titles that include the words “countryside,” “tears” and “angels” that shouldn’t come as much of a shock. The man likes atmospheric slow jams. “Eastside/Westside” gets a cognac and cigar vibe sliding over an echo-laden drumbeat. He immediately follows that track with “See You Again,” a strummed, beach-side folk-pop, perfect for hanging up cut-out photos from a magazine on a pink wall. This relatively brief album is solely dedicated to atmosphere. The songs are unobtrusive and there are even some bird sound effects over the phased-out guitar on “Let’s Go Back.” The band even digs into that jazz stuff with the record’s namesake but the track isn’t out of place, sticking firmly to the introspective scene. The piano/bass/drum gets into a sort of Keith Jarrett feeling, clocking in at nearly two and half minutes longer than any other track. The album closes on an epic swell with vibrating strings hovering above a gently plucked acoustic guitar and the vocals of Maiya Sykes.

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