Josh Rouse and his Happiness Waltz

File this under ‘good news’.

Mid-March saw Josh Rouse, whose last album was released in 2011, publish a new work by the name of The Happiness Waltz. His previous two albums left a lot to be desired, and many fans had renounced their faith in him after his life-changing move to Spain. But, and you can quote me on this, Josh Rouse is back.

On Happiness, he’s finally broken the shell that had held him back for the past handful of years; here he’s given us fourteen folk-pop songs the likes of his old work, and Nashville veteran Brad Jones’ return to the production controls restores the lush, shimmering sound to the writing and arrangements.

The word best fit to describe the album is probably ‘culmination’: Julie (Come Out of the Rain) could have been on Nashville, Let the Love In on 1972, and This Movie’s Way Too Long on Home. All in all, I’m excited that the artist whose best work I was discovering while he was releasing his worst has more or less returned to form.

So who would like Josh Rouse? It’s hard to say since his work encompasses so many sounds (punk-influenced folk, alt-country, retro-pop and indie being just some of them). But if you’re a fan of Bob Dylan, Wilco, Jason Mraz, AM, or Ryan Adams, he’s probably worth a shot. He’s made a lot of rainy afternoons a lot more fun for this folk fanatic.




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