Country Mouse, City House
Josh Rouse wrote nine songs for Country Mouse, City House, and by my count only four of them are worthwhile. While there’s a trace of nylon string guitar of Subtítulo, it feels more like a grab bag of leftovers from earlier Rouse projects; two of the strongest tracks, ‘Italian Dry Ice’ and ‘Hollywood Bass Player’, have subtle grooves that could have come from 1972.
The opening ‘Sweetie’ is pretty and sentimental, and Rouse uses his yearning voice to good effect, while the gentle Fender Rhodes groove of the closer ‘Snowy’ is my favourite song on Country Mouse, City House. But the middle stretch of the album is a tough slog – lots of generic songs with pretty arrangements, like ‘Domesticated Lovers’ and ‘Nice To Fit In’.
Country Mouse, City House hits enough different styles that it’s entertaining, but it sags badly in the middle and it feels lightweight next to Josh Rouse’s best work.