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Rosalie Cunningham - Rosalie Cunningham CD (album) cover

ROSALIE CUNNINGHAM

Rosalie Cunningham

 

Crossover Prog

4.15 | 22 ratings

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Evolver
Special Collaborator
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars Since hearing "Desire's Magic Theatre" back in 2016, I have been infatuated with Rosalie Cunningham. Her music consistently speaks to me in a way that few others rarely come close to. Her lyrics are deep, complex, witty, and touching. Her compositions, which frequently look back to the early years of the blossoming progressive rock movement, are mesmerizing. Her performances are sublime. And her studio production wizardry is reminiscent of George Martin.

On this, her first solo album, the songs are more personal, but every bit as tantalizing as those on DMT.

"Ride On My Bike" is an invitation to the listener to join Rosalie in her world of psychedelia, represented here by her bike. The song is a melding of hard rock and honky-tonk, with a Brian May-like guitar break. Listen to this with headphones to get the full effect of her layered, soaring vocals.

"F*ck Love" uses tempo shifts to build up tension for a tale of a family cursed to relive amorous misfortunes from generation to generation. Poor Rosalie gets caught between the desire and the reality of loving relationships.

"House Of The Glass Red" is one of the songs where Rosalie's Beatles influences come to the forefront, with shimmering guitars and vocals, and throwback keyboard tones. This track could fit right in on "Magical Mystery Tour"

"Dethroning Of The Party Queen" has our hero now playing the title role, and the roll this takes on her body and soul. It's another honky-tonk styled song, with some fine tack-piano playing and an excellent hook.

"Under A Mistletoe Wreath" is a poignant picture of a man deeply stricken by his mother's death, to the point of madness. It's another song where Rosalie's production lists the song even higher than her beautiful lyrics.

"Riddles And Games" is a forceful acid rock song, where Rosalie tries to get into the mind of her lover, and finds that she may not ever understand his/her way of thinking, but deciding to accept the differences. Nice lyrics, but even better guitar licks in the choruses.

"Butterflies" is a Beatlesque folky song (with some Moody Blues-ish backing tracks) that has Rosalie wondering why she loves her man. F*ck love, indeed.

The finest track is the closer "A Yarn From The Wheel", a multi-part suite that is the most recognizably prog piece on this album. It's the tale of the fall of a rock star. I wonder if any of this comes from the demise of Purson. Either way, this romp through various is a tour-deforce even greater that "The Bitter Suite", the amazing tune that closed DMT.

In my opinion, Rosalie is one of the greatest songwriters, producers, and performers of this era, and her music must not be overlooked.

Evolver | 5/5 |

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