Normally I don’t review EPs and its usually because I find EPs aren’t good enough to be worth highlighting in a review. But then sometimes an EP will come along that’s just too damn good to not talk about and I have to break my own rule. This is one of those cases with Whitney Rose’s new EP South Texas Suite. The once Canadian now Texan Rose is no stranger to this blog of course, as she won Country Perspective’s 2015 Female Artist of the Year award due to her fantastic sophomore album Heartbreaker of the Year. Produced by Raul Malo, it’s soulful and unique approach allows her to standout above many of her peers and proved her to be one of the most promising up and comers in country music. So needless to say I was expecting more great music from South Texas Suite and that’s exactly what we get.
The album starts off with the waltzing “Three Minute Love Affair.” It’s about a passing love, falling for someone at the bar and spending three minutes out on the dance floor together before parting ways. The song perfectly encapsulates that fleeting love you can find yourself entangled in with a stranger. The accordion really adds some great texture to the song too. “Analog” is Rose’s yearning for simpler times of technology and media, lamenting today’s inundation of ads and media. The song goes on about how we work ourselves to death and get consumed by our phones, making for some thought-provoking commentary on communication and relationships today. The gem of this EP though has to be “My Boots.” Very much in the classic country vein, Rose sings of wanting to be herself in front of her man’s mother. Wearing her boots symbolizes this the most, refusing to put on a fake face in front of others just to ensure a good impression. Accompanied by some excellent steel guitar and Rose’s impassioned vocal performance, this is one you won’t forget after hearing. Rose nails another waltzing love song in “Bluebonnets for My Baby,” which is a throwback in every sense of the word. “Looking Back on Luckenbach” is a steel guitar drenched tune about reminiscing on old times and contemplating memories made. The EP then closes with the aptly titled “How ‘Bout a Hand for the Band,” an instrumental that gives the band a chance to show off their sound.
Whitney Rose was looking to capture and honor the spirit of Texas style country and she absolutely accomplishes this with South Texas Suite. The instrumentation on this album is damn near flawless, featuring lots of twangy steel guitars and fiddle (a must of course if you’re gonna play in Texas). The songwriting is great and deceptively deeper than you think upon first listen. Rose also still manages to incorporate her throwback soulful influence into the music too. All in all it’s just a flat-out fun listen that I think any country fan can come to appreciate. Rose once again reminds us of her fantastic talent, reaffirming herself as one of the brightest, best up and coming artists in country music today with South Texas Suite.
Recommend? – Definitely
Album Highlights: My Boots, Analog, Bluebonnets for My Baby
Bad Songs: None