Sunday, 24 March 2013

Desert Island Discs 32 Under Cold Blue Stars by Josh Rouse

32 - Under Cold Blue Stars by Josh Rouse 2002

I'm generally not that big a fan of Americana (although more and more lps under that broad heading have slipped through the net recently). In the early days Josh Rouse was put under that banner. However he was a bit different (as his willingness to embrace different ideas and styles in future lps showed) , a Nebraskan with a love of Uk bands like the Smiths.

Loosely built around the ups and down of a1950s American newly weds lives, no matter how hard he tries to disguise it at it heart Under the Cold Blue Stars is full of great pop songs

He has one of those cracked sore throat voices that won't be to everyone's taste but matches perfectly the melancholy nature of a lot of the songs

Ugly stories by Josh Rouse

Overall the lp feels like a series of short stories set in the world of a Richard Yates book or a Hopper painting

Under Cold Blue Stars - Josh Rouse

Under the cold blue stars
You would just stroll around the yard
That’s what happens to dreams
When the life strains and a child lays in you

When you got old, you play guitar
In a little town, your favourite bar
Just blowing steam, now the lights
Fade and everyone paid to see you

So did the farm, it steal your soul
When the cornfields won't grow
It's time to leave, now the heart
Bleeds and a family leans on you

You were under the cold blue stars
In another town, your favourite bar
That's what happens to dreams
When the life strains and a child lays in you
He has arguably made better and certainly more polished lps but this is the one I keep coming back to.

You can buy Under Cold Blue Stars here


  1. It was hard for me to whittle my JR choice down to one. This one was in the running, but Nashville's abundant hooks eventually won out. "Women & Men", "Feeling No Pain" & "Ears To The Ground" my favorite cuts here. He has a brand new album 'Happiness Waltz' which is a decent return to form musically, however the lyrics are bland & almost unbearably sickly sweet. Not a trace of irony in that title...

    I'm pretty sure my list will have plenty of overlap from here on in...

    #32 - WORLD PARTY - "GOODBYE JUMBO" (1990)

    Put The Message In A Box:

  2. Nice choice David; this was a highlight before he discovered beatboxes and tapas...
    I had 'Goodbye Jumbo' in my hands this morning and wondered why I had overlooked it; it's back under the bed filed alongside another album that I'd have sworn my life on 20 years ago; The Waterboys' 'This is the Sea'. Put a Message in the Box my favourite cut too TT...

  3. As this is the only Josh Rouse album I have ,I've got to say 'Good choice'! A friend recommended it to me and it is rather good.
    Tin - Another good choice.I completely forgot about World Party when compiling my list but it would only feature at the lower end.
    Overlap from me at #32 with the Guillemots - Through the Windowpane

  4. Hi Tim i was going to get the new one but you've put me off!
    Trev i am afraid my box under the bed is going to start to dominate!
    Phil i am with Tim but a tad higher!


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