Eileen Rose has a story to tell on Shine Like It Does, and like any good songwriter, she knows how to spin autobiography into great songs. The personal references never become self-absorbed, and the listener doesn't need to know anything about Rose to enjoy the music. She varies the arrangements, changing her approach from song to song to keep things interesting; there's heavy blues guitar on "Shining," quiet acoustic on "Lincoln Park," and old rock & roll on "Booze Talkin' (I Ain't Listenin'." Her attitude seems to be "whatever works, works." Things get started with "Rose," a catchy piece of rock with a gutsy vocal, then dips into the pensive "Still in the Family." Both lyrics are clearly autobiographical, but in a poetic, symbolic fashion. Who doesn't have a family secret? Or isn't preoccupied by something a parent said that they couldn't do? "Silver Ladle" has an almost spiritual feel with haunting organ and evocative lyrics, while "Lincoln Park" finds its inspiration from Neil Diamond (and succeeds nonetheless). A number of songs survey the treacherous waters of relationships. "Booze Talkin' (I Ain't Listenin')" is a raucous, rocking kiss-off that carries the wonderful line, "I'm tired of being used. Don't tell me it's the booze talkin', lover," while "Would You Marry Me?" is filled with dreamy guitar. Rose is also a versatile singer, bringing a deep resonance to everything from ballads to blues to rock & roll. One couldn't hope for a better debut than Shine Like It Does. Its well-written songs and clever lyrics are sure to attract anyone who enjoys intelligent folk.
AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.