Josh Rouse – Subtitulo (2006)
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Josh Rouse - Subtitulo

With last year’s perfectly wonderful Nashville, Rouse bid farewell to the titular city and hello to Spain; now, barely a year later, with Subtitulo, he’s sprawled out on the veranda, soaking in the sun. He’s still basically the same melancholy bastard he’s been since his debut, but this album continues in the warm-’n-fuzzy vein Rouse has been exploring since 1972.

To these ears, Subtitulo isn’t as good as Nashville, but to expect Rouse to hit that kind of home run every time out would be grossly unfair. This is more of what we’ve come to expect from him, essentially — some songs where he’s happy (but definitely waiting for the other shoe to drop), some songs where he’s sad (but not as sad as, say, Morrissey), and some songs where he knows he’s done some stupid things (but they have a good beat and you might even be able to dance to them, so unless you’re listening to the words, you’d never know).

If you’re already among the converted, you probably own this by now — but if you’ve been on the fence, consider this your go-ahead signal. If you’re still among the unwashed, Rouse-less masses, go get Nashville — then listen to “Summertime” (download) and “Wonderful” (download). And then get yourself a copy of Subtitulo.