It is more than three years since Eileen Rose released an album. Her second, Long Shot Novena, concluded with a farewell singalong as she waved goodbye to England, announced “I’m going home” and returned to her native United States.
Come The Storm suggests she has adjusted to her new environment and has again found her zone in which sweet music is made. Her third album, recorded at the famous Long View Farm studios in Massachusetts, is a deeper affair that needs more than one listen to appreciate, especially in the middle section, but in typical Eileen Rose style it contains some genuine gems.
Not as immediate as her last two efforts, the album finds space for her widest range of moods yet. The downbeat and aptly titled Staying In sits alongside the warm and poignant Stagger Home and the elegiac builder Ocean Of Fire. The epic Saffron & Ginger, although slow to the point of stopping, is a real grower, replete with sad strings and piano. But at nearly six minutes in length, Radio 2 easy listening fare this ain’t.
If there’s a criticism to be made, it is that too much of the album dwells on downbeat, slow numbers. But it does find space for Rose’s trademark rootsy rock fare – the upbeat yippiekayay hoot White Wave, the optimistic Never Be The Same and the singalong opener Last New Year’s Eve. It’s these big numbers that work best, rousing the listener.
Eileen’s small but devoted fanbase will be happy to find her voice as instantly recognisable as ever, but there’s more depth here in the slower numbers – she’s at home belting out big numbers or double tracking to create more intimate a feel.
Just for variation, Nothing But Blue is the album’s most dangerous, sassy and edgy moment, with guitar, bass and drums scraping their way around a bluesy number that finds Eileen’s vocals deep in the mix before belting out the memorable chorus.
Come The Storm’s writing, arrangements and depth are easily a match for any of her other work, while the lyrics are again rooted in the personal while conjuring epic themes. Come a storm, here’s a record that will console and entertain.