You wouldn’t think Josh Rouse was one of my favourite singers, given the amount of coverage I’ve given him on this site. Sorry, JR.
Several years ago, I read a review of “Under Cold Blue Stars”, and asked my sister for it for Christmas 2002. After a blank look, and a long search, I found it in my stocking, and listened to it a couple of times, before discarding it to gather dust on a shelf. However, over the next few months, I got my hands on some of Josh’s older albums (namely 1998’s “Dressed Up Like Nebraska” and 2000’s “Home”), and once “1972” was released and gained critical acclaim in 2003, I was happy to role out my elitist head, and utter those immortal words: “I’ve been listening to him for ages!”
Josh has just released a “best of” from one of his older record labels, the resulting collection of which is a must-have for non-Josh fans. Yep, you heard me – the collection is a whistle-stop introduction to Josh, and pulls together most of his top songs. However, if you’ve already gotten most of JR’s work, then you’ll already have most of 25 of the 32 songs on the collection (the other 7 being demos and rare tracks).
However, being the Josh completist that I am, I got my hands on the collection as soon as it was available. From it, I’ve decided to include four of my favourite Josh songs:
- Directions – the song which got me into Josh in the first place; a rip-roaring, high-tempo ode to a bad relationship
- Feeling No Pain – not quite as rip-roaring, but still up-tempo; a happy tune about the invincibility that love can instill
- Nothing Gives Me Pleasure – from the same album as “Feeling No Pain” (2002’s “Under Cold Blue Stars”), a slow, insistent little ditty about dependence on another
- My Love Is Gone – and finally, the song containing my favourite Josh Rouse line of all time….
And I sleep with the TV on. Its the only sound, our love’s gone.
And so, here’s to Josh Rouse. Releasing nearly an album a year (and I’ll be honest here – of ever-decreasing quality). Getting happy and married and moving to Nashville. Having that marriage end and moving to Spain. Producing bittersweet (and sometimes just plain sweet) music. And now with a post on my blog. Surely the pinnacle of his career.