Josh Rouse - The Happiness Waltz - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Josh Rouse - The Happiness Waltz

by Greg Spencer Rating:7 Release Date:2013-03-18

With The Happiness Waltz, Josh Rouse brings us his tenth studio album. It feels like one of reflection from someone at peace with themselves and their surroundings. It may not be Rouse's best album in terms of great pop songs after one another, but there's an ambience to this record which has been missing from his recent work.

Opener 'Julie (Come Out of the Rain)' is soulful and elegant. Rouse describes San Francisco as cold and California as grey, a fitting description from a man who now resides in Spain and seems so much at ease at where he is in life. As like many of Rouse's past albums, The Happiness Waltz feels quite stripped down in terms of instrumentation, yet it feels utterly immersive. Even the simplest of things, like a few background guitar licks on a track like 'The Ocean', add so much to the ambience of the record.

You have to realise, though, that Rouse's music isn't always riveting, although weirdly that isn't always a negative. You can just completely relax to this record; it's mostly down-tempo and there aren't that many tracks which make you go "Wow!" However, Rouse makes good albums, cohesive pieces of work which translate to anyone. It really depends what you're looking for. Most people who buy this record will know exactly what to expect from a Josh Rouse album, but if you think it's going to be an album's worth of excitement and thrills, it isn't really what Rouse does.

The Happiness Waltz grows on you but, like much of Rouse's past work, it's hard to appreciate instantly. The delightfulness and beauty of the songs will captivate; you just have to delve right into the heart of the record.

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