El Turista - Yep Roc
FILTER Grade: 76%
By Jonathan Falcone on March 22, 2010
Something about this isn’t right. Josh Rouse’s previous two albums were delightful slabs of wide-eyed “thank you, ma’am” song-craftery that could have grated in their earnest angle if they weren’t so damn wonderfully executed. And this starts like a dream. “Bienvenido” is two minutes of instrumental lounge club xylophones, Rachmaninov piano and swirling strings. It’s perfect, which is probably why the rest fails to enrapture as past efforts have. There’s nothing wrong with Rouse himself, and his decision to do originals and covers is a pleasant premise. Plus, his voice is still as gentle as ever, the music a mix of quirk and charm, but the decision to sing in Spanish for parts highlights a clash between his ultimately thin and delicate voice and the soul inherent in outspoken Latin rhythms. This is merely alright, but it will surely need to burn slower to penetrate the heart. In the history of Rouse’s discography, past albums had done so instantaneously. Let’s hope this tourist heads back home very soon.