By Team Backbeat
By Amber Taufen
By Jon Solomon
By Tom Murphy
By Jesse Livingston
By Alejandra Loera
By Stephanie March
By Tom Murphy
Ms. Rose is an accomplished actress, with experience on stage and screen. Yet she's also an admirable vocalist who's done a lot of stylistic maturing since her days in Sympathy F, a memorable '90s band that temporarily turned her into a rocker. Act II, whose release will be celebrated on August 6 at Lannie Garrett's Clocktower Cabaret, is thoroughly grown-up, but not the slightest bit stodgy.
While Rose's voice is capable of reaching the balconies, she seldom overuses her theatrical abilities. On "Jealous," for instance, she plays up the sultriness of the lyric in an organic way, rather than a self-consciously calculated one. Better still is "Mercy on Me," which benefits from an evocative arrangement, supportive playing (her band features drummer Tony Morales, bassist Kyle Jones and saxophonist Jon Hegel) and a vocal that gets more mileage out of subtlety than over-the-top artifice would have generated.
The timing of this CD is ideal, since it captures Rose in full bloom.
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