These Friends of Mine

Rosie Thomas


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2007, Nettwerk

To call a recording like Rosie Thomas' These Friends of Mine "interesting" seems like a nice way of saying that the album isn't bad, but neither is it anything to write home about. In Thomas' case, then, "intriguing" may be a better adjective. Production-wise, These Friends of Mine zigzags all over the sonic map, from highly processed vocals to live kitchen recordings. Whatever the approach, Thomas' airy vocal style, sometimes balanced by Sufjan Stevens' warmer midrange, delivers ten mostly mellow folk songs, backed by sparse and cleanly separated instrumental arrangements. On the first cut, "If This City Never Sleeps," and "All the Way to New York City," Thomas' voice has been run through a wringer of processors and devices, rendering it a mechanical device sheared of emotion. Her folkie-fairy take on R.E.M.'s "The One I Love" fabricates a dreamy, light-confectionary feel that sounds a little bit like a mid-'60s Donovan recording (had he been a woman) captured on cooler studio equipment. Thomas' version of Fleetwood Mac's "Songbird" proves more straightforward, less a reinterpretation than a respectful cover backed by a light string section. Given the disc's length of 33 minutes, some listeners are going to wonder what happened to the other half of These Friends of Mine; other listeners will be glad that they will not be stuck listening to 30 minutes of filler. Taken as a whole, These Friends of Mine is a mixed bag, a long EP that works great when the song choice and left-of-center recording techniques meld into one, and lackluster when they do not. - All Music Guide

Tracklisting

Disc 1
1 If This City Never Sleeps
2 Why Waste More Time?
3 One I Love
4 Much Farther to Go
5 Paper Doll
6 Kite Song
7 Songbird
8 All the Way to New York City
9 Say Hello
10 These Friends of Mine



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