Dressed Up Like Nebraska
Josh Rouse’s 1998 debut album features a low key indie-folk sound; Rouse began the album on an 8-track recorder, although David Henry, who previously toured with Cowboy Junkies, co-produced and contributed bass and cello parts. With a very homogeneous sound, the songs tend to blend into each other; the hooks are there, but are more subtle than on his later albums.
The most memorable songs are the faster ‘Late Night Conversation’, the insistently strumming ‘Flair’, and the cello hook of ‘Lavina’, although ‘The White Trash Period Of My Life’ has the most memorable song title. Dressed Up Like Nebraska is solidly written, but it’s difficult to enthuse about, or write much about, although I’m sure that there are fans out there who value the low key and downbeat sound over anything else Rouse has done.
I’ve always been a little bemused by AllMusic’s summation of Dressed Up Like Nebraska: “This is one of those classic discs one hears about, but seldom hears.”