The music made by Josephine circles a smorgasbord of genres. 2020’s Music Is Easy had a playful glam pop to it, cut with a jangled bubblegum soul. In the interim Josephine has let loose disco singles, a dizzying punk n’ pomp affair with Hershguy, and now her latest as Josephine Network, which pulls a dose of country croon into the mix. Along with the aforementioned Hershguy, Josephine is at the core of Brower’s full lineup, a band that’s been beloved around here for some time. Bandmates fleshed out Music is Easy, but the boys in Brower take a side-step this time, letting a new ensemble frame No One’s Rose. On board this time are Alana Amram of The Rough Gems, Adam Amram, and Jon ‘Catfish’ DeLorme (Woods, Cut Worms, Young Guv). The latter two formed the backbone of a recent ode to the loss of Psychic Ills’ Tres Warren, and that chemistry remains in full display here.
The record opens with the most affecting moment, the acoustic ache of “All There Is To Say,” and the tonal shift sets up the listener for the departure from Josephine’s past. As the record opens up a bit of the ol’ Bolan bounce sneaks in at the edges, but there’s nowhere near the kind of crunch that found its way into Stocky Tunes or Brower’s latest single. “Howdy Girl” comes the closest, but it’s just a brief dalliance before the country clouds begin to gather. DeLorme’s pedal steel and dobro become a prominent fixture in the record, helping to carve out the tenderness that’s at the core of No One’s Rose. The record finds a nice balance between some of the flash and humor of her past and an open heart that’s been plastered directly on Josephine’s sleeve. Songs like “Judge Judy” and “Short Shorts, Deep Pockets” still let a bit of wink and smirk into the mix, but even the former still has a bit of a lovesick swoon underneath the exterior. It’s a bold shift, but the gamble pays off nicely with some of Josephine’s best songs yet.
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