ROD MITCHELL: Rose & Thorn: CD

May 21, 2010

I have to admit that I was having a little trouble listening to this album. There is something about it that is, how shall I say… excruciatingly unappealing to me. I had put it in the player quite soon after receiving it and decided at the time that I was fully not in the mood to listen to it. Thereafter, I often thought that I needed to put it on and have a listen, but I just couldn’t seem to manage to. So here we are. I’ve listened to the whole thing. I am really pretty strenuously not into it, and I feel a bit at a loss as to what to say about it. It’s kinda poppy, kinda rock’n’roll-y. I’m not exactly sure why it ruffles my feathers so, but I pretty much don’t like anything about it. I don’t like the artwork, the lyrics, the singer’s voice, or the music. I don’t like the guest female vocalist’s voice (although the female back-ups are a bit reminiscent of the B-52’s and a lot better for me). I don’t like most of the choruses. I don’t like what sounds to me like a whole massive lot of unoriginality. I actually, for a second, thought that it sounded like a kids’ album—and not a particularly good one (because to me it feels so… inconsequential, weightless, overly simplistic, or wimpy, perhaps), and if I think about it like that, it is surprisingly much more manageable for me. I looked online for a minute to see if it’s possible that it actually could be a children’s album (apparently not) and found that someone out there feels that it’s “An album both of social protest and reconciliation. It is also filled with a number of feel-good love songs sacrificing none of the thoughtful lyrics one has come to expect from a Rod Mitchell album about love, loss, and the hope of better days to come.” Although it’s quite hard to comprehend that we could actually be talking about the same album, I’m glad that someone likes it! I really am.

 –Jennifer Federico (Orange Knight, no address listed)