Baby Rose and BADBADNOTGOOD Up the Ante on Collab Project [Album Review]

Kieran Kohorst
Credit: Sylvain Chaussée

There’s a constant conundrum that exists for artists today when it comes to their music. Change your sound completely and risk alienating some of your established fans, or stay true to your material and feel like you’re running in place. It’s a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t scenario that makes evolution even more painful than it already is. Baby Rose has gone about her growth with grace - evident in her music is a kind of trust in the divine, faith in a song’s fate, and a sacrifice of ego towards whatever is commanding the moment. 

This is to say that Baby Rose’s new project, Slow Burn, produced entirely by BADBADNOTGOOD, is effortless excellence. Her voice, aged and mature, is as captivating as ever in this new environment, brimming with alternative, psych rock, and Americana hues that add depth to the jazz-focused project. “Slow Burn is our eclectic chemistry and the captured essence of our worlds colliding,” Rose says of the EP. “Recording on tape with the band was a first, I felt like we were channeling Muscle Shoals' rawness. It's a reflection of past loves and losses, reminiscent of long drives down rural 95 from DC to NC as a child. This record represents venturing beyond boundaries, embracing freedom, and finding comfort. Enjoy the journey." 

Across Slow Burn’s 6 tracks, Rose waltzes, serenades, soothes, and invigorates, as the familiarity found in working with one producer seems to allow her to settle in a bit more. She sounds at home, entrenched in the music wholly and without haste. In taking her time, Rose finds more things to savor, like on stand-out track “Weekness”: as she catalogs a week of falling out of love, a ruminating guitar flickers behind her, at times becoming the focus of Rose’s desire to put the tragedy aside before being overwhelmed in the song’s final verse. Elsewhere on the project, whether it be her peaceful duet with Mereba, the infectious groove of “It’s Alright,” or the true-to-its-name title track, Baby Rose doesn’t lose her poise. In fact, she shows that there is yet more to prove in her music; that the sounds of yesterday are not those of today, and neither may be fit for tomorrow. It seems as if the next Baby Rose project will be found wherever her soul takes her - exactly where she should be. 

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