The critical success of Caitlin Rose’s 2010 debut album Own Side Now, exuberantly praised by reviewers on both sides of the Atlantic, meant the Nashville singer was always going to have a job to do with the follow-up.
The Stand-In is a more than decent effort (even if it does fall just short of the excellence of her first) that consolidates her reputation as a singer and songwriter worthy of the superlatives that have been aimed in her direction. Two albums in she has proven herself a leading light of the New Nashville scene.
Being Nashville, however, comes with its own set of pressures. The Stand In is a more straight-up country album, with less of the residual indie sensibilities of Own Side Now. It feels like an album with more focus and direction, certainly in terms of addressing a target audience, but it loses some of the childlike simplicity of Own Side Now — thinking, in particular, of Learnin’ to Ride and For the Rabbits.
Still there are some excellent songs in here, the stand out being Everywhere I Go, a pulsating, cinematic swell of a track that yanks firmly at the heart strings. The delicate, bruised interplay between vocals and mandolin on I Was Cruel is Rose at her most reflective and she lets lungs off the leash in style on Waiting On A Broken Heart, a big, bold triumphant song that crescendos in a joyous sing-a-long.
A great second album from an artist with a big future.
Review by: Rachel Devine