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My First Posthumous Release

Al Rose

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Album Review

Lovers of indie blues, Americana rock and folk were no doubt happy to realize that the rumors of the "death" of this super witty Chicago based singer/songwriter were greatly exaggerated. That hasn't kept him from calling his brilliantly eclectic fifth album My First Posthumous Release or teasing us with wry, hard to resist tunes with whimsical titles like "I'm Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone" and "The Miracle of Pain," while offering a sense of "Soft Core Hope." Much too cool to be launched yet into the great beyond, the collection's 13 tracks — which feature the powerful backing of his longtime band the Transcendos — bloom with Rose's stream of metaphor lyrics connecting many disjointed artifacts of life. A consummate and prolific live performer since his days as a songwriter, guitarist, flutist, and harmony vocalist for the rock band Buffalo Trout, Rose always puts on a wild yet cool spontaneous show — whether he's solo, with a full band, or some configuration in between. Think of the way a surprisingly loud crackly fire manages to give off a warm, steady glow — you get a little of both with him. His songs are all unique musical snapshots of a life fully lived, and here, they flow like wild, wicked poetry from track to track. Rose digs in with some heartfelt acoustic blues on "Going Down the Mississippi," which (ta da!) rhymes with the title of "I'm Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone," the tongue in cheek, playfully mournful tune that follows the ironic title track that in turn pokes fun of the way our culture makes celebrities out of the dead. But in Rose's hands, it's clever, not morbid. Once he's "gone," he muses that "All the Trains Are Gone," a song about each train going by and the way we make excuses to stay on the platform and watch life pass us by. "Train" rhymes with "pain," as in the next tune, "The Miracle of Pain," a dark rumination about not feeling anything despite hurting so much. Rose's lyrical wit and wisdom and infinitely catchy melodies continue to be a true treasure that makes indie music making in the late 2000s so inspiring.

Customer Reviews

Surprising, witty, dark Americana.

Al Rose's cleverness and deftness with lyrics continues to shine on this, his fifth album. More firmly rooted in Americana than previous records, musical surprises still abound from an unexpected vibes solo to the perfect use of strings on the wonderfully satirical title cut. Rose is a master at making us laugh at the dark but can also tug at the tender emotions. As always, the musicianship is stellar featuring his band The Transcendos (including guitarist Steve Doyle, drummer Sarah Allen and bassist Steve Hashimoto) and contributors such as cellist Alison Chesley (formerly of Verbow), gypsy violinist Steve Gibons, avant-garde trombonist Jeb Bishop, ex-Coctail Mark Greenberg, mandolin master Don Stiernberg, plus a saw player and a tap dancer. This is Al Rose's most consistent record to date.

I like it

Its a nice thing to listen to

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The release of Al Rose's third album, Pigeon's Throat, came in December 1999. This followed his critically acclaimed second album, Naked in a Trailer, and his debut release, Information Overload. The musicians used in these projects include the Transcendos and guests such as violinist Steve Gibons, mandolinist Stuart Rosenberg, cellist Diana Parmeter, and the occasional Transcendos organist, Carter Luke. Most listeners and critics have had a difficult time adequately describing...
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My First Posthumous Release, Al Rose
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