Raina Rose. When May Came.

Fourth release from this songwriter from Portland, Oregon, this took some time to come to terms with. Initially it seemed to be a fairly lightweight confection very much in the general female singer/songwriter mode. Repeated listening (one in particular, late at night with some wine to accompany it )offered a greater insight into what is a warm, embracing and comforting album.
The primary problem here was the jauntier songs including the opener, Sun Comes Back which is pleasant but innocuous and Desdemona which trots along at a brisk pace but failed to engage me. The meat of the album is in the slower songs which dominate the latter half of the album. Rose sounds more comfortable on these, her voice assumes a sultry tone missing in the more upbeat numbers. Stone Around my Neck is a particularly effective song with discontented rumblings creeping in on keyboards at one point reflecting the discontented state of the relationship she is singing about. The musicians (a select bunch of Austin players) excel on the following What Do You Bury which is sumptuous and beguiling on an obituary for a drunkard partner with a lyrical tour de force. The mood continues on Heart Broken Open with warm bass notes and a vulnerable vocal performance with great alliterative wordplay.
So overall a grower, an album to sink into, really rather nice.
Have a listen here

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