Whitney Rose

Rule 62

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Whitney Rose named her second full-length album after a 12-step tradition suggesting "don't take yourself too damn seriously," an axiom she takes to heart on Rule 62. Rose may specialize in retro-country but there's a lightness in her step. She doesn't sweat the idea of authenticity -- it's hard to think of a country album that would indulge in such soul revivalism as "Can't Stop Shakin'" -- but her affection for the deep wells of Americana tradition are evident throughout Rule 62. Rose touches upon so many different sounds and styles on Rule 62, it can almost play like an aural travelog, touching upon different sounds and styles from state to state. Rose opens the proceedings with a straightforward slice of barroom country, then swings to the left to play some hopping Tex-Mex on "Arizona" -- a state whose dusty vistas are evoked by "You Don't Scare Me," a cut that sounds like a cross of Lee Hazlewood and vintage Nashville. "Trucker's Funeral" recalls the gently rolling progressive country-folk of the '70s and "You're Mess" sways like classic girl group pop. The nice thing about this variety of sounds -- all expertly executed by producers Raul Malo and Niko Bolas -- is that it never seems flashy. From Rose to her crack band, all the performances on Rule 62 are delivered with a casual assurance that gives the record a warm feel that, when combined with sturdy songs from a variety of styles, gives the record the feeling of an old favorite; it feels like a record that you've lived with for years, in the best possible sense.

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