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Rhythm & Views

Rosie Thomas

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Rosie Thomas is better known for lending her voice to a couple Damien Jurado songs--that's her singing "Parking Lot" on Jurado's heartbreaking Ghost of David. She has one of those clear, high voices with a sour twist that gives it a bit of an edge; the kind of voice that one would think would be attached to a girl who wears gauzy skirts with leather corset tops. Thomas is, however, not even close to that girl; her split personality manifests itself in other ways. On the one side are her folky love ballads; on the other, there's her comedic alter-persona, Sheila, who performs wearing scrunchies and a neck brace. With such a unique personality and interesting voice, you'd expect interesting songs; unfortunately, Thomas writes and sings songs in the same overly emotional key as Sarah MacLachlan.

Touring with the likes of James Mercer of The Shins and Iron and Wine hasn't rubbed off on Thomas; her songs are vapid and flowery, and she flaunts her skilled vocal chords without any sort of verbal complexity to back up the sounds. When Thomas sings, "I play music that's what I do, and when I sing I lose myself" it's about as exciting as C-SPAN. The whole record feels like Thomas is trying very hard to be Joni Mitchell, but dear Joni would cringe to hear lyrics like, "Aren't you supposed to love yourself before you can understand how to love someone after all?" You could find more enlightenment in a Chicken Soup book.

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