Rogue Wave
Out of the Shadow
/sub pop; 2004/

more info:

Folk and pop music suit my mood really well right now, i'm feeling happy and relaxed at last, haven't felt this good in a year and a half. I don't really want to listen to the Paper Chase anymore. Rogue Wave and Iron & Wine are more than i could ask for.

It isn't really folk per se. It's reminiscent of Nick Drake, Californian pop from the 60s and with a catchier edge sometimes. Rogue Wave is songwriter Zach Rogue and three guys who turn his familiar songs into gorgeous pop jewels. Arrangements are really impressive, always pushing the song to the top, never drowning the initial essence but reminiscent of the 60s' obsession over pop song arrangement. Some songs are more bare than others, but mostly they sound sunny and euphoric. The album is filled with catchy hooks, soft backing vocals, chirping birds, acoustic guitars and tight drums.

There is one song that stands out in my own opinion, for being a rocker and 4.47 minutes long. Just when you think Rogue Wave couldn't get any better, they unleash "Endless Shovel" right before the end of the record. It's impressively catchy, delicacy and energy standing together, hand in hand. The album closes with Zach Rogue singing "everything was perfect til you came along" showing that beneath sunny, euphoric arrangements there is a contemporary songwriter living through contemporary misery. "Out of the Shadow" may be the most impressive pop record since 1969, more enjoyable than a thousand brit pop hits, where Rogue Wave succeed is in sounding like a 21st century band going forwards, with a few decades of pop music in their backpacks. Nostalgia is so passé.

-Barbara H

/oct 15th 2004/