Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Rose Falcon: The Un-Britney

Recently I bought my first pop/rock album (or should I say CD?) in over a decade--to be sure, a dull event in times of either war or peace; but it has prompted me to make my first record (or should I say CD?) recommendation in two decades, when I wrote reviews for my high school newspaper.

The CD in question is Rose Falcon, the self-titled debut of an 18-year old musician from New Jersey. You might have seen snippets of her video "Up Up Up" on the Disney Channel, but don't be fooled by the bubble gum veneer of the video--she's no Hillary Duff; Rose has pipes, and she writes her own songs along with her father Billy Falcon (who has written songs for the likes of Bon Jovi, Stevie Nicks, and Cher.)

What's remarkable about the album is its tone. The songs are either upbeat or balladic, and yet most of them have serious themes: the untimely death of her mother, loss of friendship, ambivalent love, and the pressure on young women to look a certain way. The best example of the dual nature of the Falcons' songwriting is "Breathe," which begins--

It's a sunny happy day and the sky
is crystal clear oh yeah
Surprise surprise I'm okay the
best I've been in years oh yeah
--and eventually segues to a wry chorus:

Cause I hardly think about
it anymore
Oh it's just a distant memory
And I hardly think about it
anymore what happened to the
And it only hurts when I breathe
Although Rose has been likened to Avril Lavigne and Alanis Morissette, she is never snotty or vulgar (as is fitting for an artist who thanks "my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" in the credits). A good example is the angry "Looks Are Everything":
See it on my TV
In my magazines
See it everywhere I look
Even in my dreams
I can't sleep for dreaming

. . . .

Isn't she a pretty thing
So lucky looks are everything

Equally remarkable is that parents and children can both like the album, which isn't surprising given that it's a daughter-father effort.

I'm looking forward to future releases from Rose--I may just buy my second pop-rock album (or should I say CD?) in a decade.

To listen to the album, go here.

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