While the temptation must’ve been great to consolidate and hone her already impressive style, from the first play of ‘The Stand-In’, you can hear Rose stretching herself as a songwriter, never straying too far from home, but taking in touches of alt-country (‘Only A Clown’), Motown soul (‘Waitin”) and ragtime (‘Old Numbers’) along the way. She’s said herself that ‘this album is [her] first attempt at a high kick’ and that stretch, more often than not, pays off, not least because Rose knows when to hold back. ‘Everywhere I Go’, for instance, reaches towards the epic, but Rose’s restrained vocal judiciously anchors it firmly in the here and now to create a sense of unfulfilled potential, in keeping with the song’s message of lost love.
What’s most impressive, though, is the lightness of touch with which she tackles the material here, from the Whiskeytown-style electric guitar crunch of the album’s opening bars on ‘No One To Call’ to the woozy sway of close ‘Old Numbers’. The trick is that, while you know that she’s stretching, she never sounds anything less than completely comfortable and in total control.