Album Review: Helen Rose – Trouble Holding Back

Trouble Holding Back is an aptly titled album released from astounding country-blues artist Helen Rose. We say that it is aptly titled for the simple fact that is immediately audible that this is an artist who really does struggle to hold herself back. Rose has such an overwhelming and overflowing passion that her music seems to be bursting at the very seams.

There is a rich and warming almost familiar feeling to many of the songs held within Trouble Holding Back. Whilst each of her songs are carefully crafted and undoubtedly her own, there are still faint traces and homages to rockers and country artists through the ages. Riffs that echo the likes of AC/DC and The Eagles occasionally drift through her musical landscape, evocative of other times. Rose seems to draw influence from a variety of genres from classic rock to fusion jazz. This stunning blend creates a collection of songs that are simultaneously rousing and relaxing in equal measure. The soft jazz softening the edges of some of the harder rock and country melodies.

Soaring above it all though is Rose’s breath-taking vocal stylings. One of the most earnest, passionate and soulful voices to grace the microphone in recent years. Her rich, velvet voice washes over you like light from the sun, enrapturing and encapsulating you in her beautifully painted world. Her voice is as soft and sweet as honey and as it melts into the background of slide guitars and bursting saxophones there is something that leaves it ringing in your ears long after she has ceased to sing.

Rose plants herself firmly between country and blues but also incorporates other fusions to spice things up for good measure. This adaptive and evolving sound takes you on a wild journey that can leave you thinking.

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Review by Joe Knipe

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