Home

(2000), 7.5/10
Home is a step forward in confidence for Rouse; after the often dark and stifling Dressed Up Like Nebraska, the best songs here are much more memorable. While it’s largely monotone compared to his more diverse later albums, there’s some light and shade here. Songs like the subtle soul of ‘Marvin Gaye’ breeze by in a way that nothing on the debut did, but there are still subtle and reflective pieces like ‘100m Backstroke’. All the first rate material is stacked at the start of Home, and after the opening four tracks, the album settles back down into less memorable and more ruminative material, but it’s all pretty solid. The opening highlights include the white soul of ‘Marvin Gaye’, with its “You are a star” refrain”, and the single ‘Directions’. The best song is the pretty ‘Parts and Accessories’, the harmonies underpinned by the gentle Fender Rhodes riffs. It feels like Josh Rouse is still learning his trade on Home, but it’s a significant step forward, as his albums continued to get better and better.

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