Rosie Thomas - If Songs Could Be Held (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Rosie Thomas

If Songs Could Be Held (2005)

Sub Pop

There's a fine line that keeps female-fronted indie rock acts like Rainer Maria from playing the Lilith Fair, and it's a line you won't even know existed until you listen to Rosie Thomas' If Songs Could Be Held. While Thomas has a sweet, charming voice, the similarity to Sarah McLachlan's voice is overwhelming at various points throughout the album. In fact, if "Dawson's Creek" were still on television, Rosie Thomas would undeniably be chosen to sing the entire soundtrack.

The album offers a certain lullaby-esque quality, but to the extent that nodding off is a rational option while listening. Thinking you're listening to Joni Mitchell while the record plays may be another rational approximation you'll be prone to make upon listening.

"Put your pretty dress on / it's time for you to go to the dance / tie your hair in ribbons and lace and wear pearls around your neck and all the pretty princes will see you," opens the album's most impressive track, "Pretty Dress." Aside from the fact that Thomas references "pretty princes," the track is both delicate and appealing and is a welcome change from the soft-spoken, monotone monotony of the rest of the album.

"Let It Be," If Songs Could Be Held's sixth track, breaks up the otherwise consistent album with soft-spoken, breathy male vocals, in which could almost be confused with my favourite unwarrantedly arrogant singer-songwriter and yours, John Mayer.

The album's final track, "Tomorrow," is a delightfully melancholy, gentle song that offers the album perfect closure with the lyrics "I would follow you / Oh anywhere you are going to / Tomorrow, forever, tomorrow, forever, tomorrow, forever, always," with a string arrangement to accompany her.

While If Songs Could Be Held offers a wide array of musical influences ranging from folk, singer-songwriter, indie rock and even a trace of soul, the sound accomplished could easily be mistaken for a Joni Mitchell tribute band, and that's surely not a sound one should solely rely on.

Pretty Dress