BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
To describe the aptly named The Happiness Waltz as one of Josh Rouse’s best efforts yet seems somewhat redundant. As anyone who’s followed his career over the course of the past 15 years would likely attest, Rouse seems to achieve that distinction every time out. To be sure, Rouse doesn’t rely on flash, frenzy or gimmicks to grab attention. Yet, his easy, breezy songs offer a gentle lilt and an unassuming charm that make them memorable after barely one listen.
Previously influenced by his move to Spain’s Mediterranean coast, he’s become known for his supple melodies, the cascade of acoustic guitars, understated arrangements and an effusive attitude that wraps each of these offering in a gentle embrace. Once again, Rouse shows himself adept at crafting songs that extol eternal optimism, even in the most trying circumstances. The seductive sweep of “Julie (Come Out of the Rain),” the bucolic and effervescent sound of “City People, City Things” and the billowing strains of “This Movie’s Way Too Long” all attest to Rouse’s ability to maintain a sound that’s both personal and appealing. The music appears deceptively simple and unabashedly blithe at times, but regardless, the emotional undercurrent clearly comes through.
DOWNLOAD: “Julie (Come Out of the Rain),” “City People, City Things,” “This Movie’s Way Too Long”