Whitney Rose: We Still Go to Rodeos (MCG Records) Album Review
Reviewed by Mae Hunt
A large majority of We Still Go To Rodeos stems from the everlasting theme of romance, both the dreamy highs and the harsh pitfalls. On Don’t Give Up on Me, Rose sings about falling for someone and fighting for that love. Rose hums, “Don’t know what your momma told you, but I know what mine told me. When you find a thing worth fighting for, you fight until you bleed.” Her voice is sweet with acoustics dancing in the background, creating a dreamlike state that correlates a passionate romance.
In Home with You, Rose croons about a continued flame and thrill in a long-term relationship. This optimistic song expresses dreams of creating a happy life with her lover. In a slow drawl, she sings, “You’ve been my man for so long. It blows my mind how much you still turn me on.” There’s a certain beauty in embracing that old flame that never dies.
In another track-of-frustration, A Hundred Shades of Blue, Rose sings not only about feeling depressed, but also about how often these feelings are invalidated. She sings, “I know a hundred shades of blue. Yes I do, yes I do. If I described each one to you, what would you do? What would you do? Would you understand or would you reprimand each of those hundred shades of blue?” I think this song is particularly important because it validates feelings of depression and despair by emphasizing how frequently they are pushed away as temporary and unimportant.
In stark contrast to the intense highs of love, Rose also sings about the pitfalls. In You’dBlame Me for the Rain, Rose seems to have given up on a relationship that has been going downhill for a long while. It’s calm, cool, and collected which is completely different from Believe Me Angela, a bold plea directly addressed to a younger woman who had an affair with her partner. Rose struggles to balance feelings of hatred and solidarity with Angela, singing: “Angela I like that name. I know you’re not who I should blame. I talked it over with my friends and went and keyed his car instead….”
Last but certainly not least, I can’t review this album without mentioning the opening track, which also happens to be my personal favorite. In Just Circumstance, Rose empathizes with those who are handed an unlucky deck in life. I draw parallels between this track and In a Rut, which is a fiery track that encapsulated the frustration of being in an emotional downturn. Overall, Rose has an impressive ability to encapsulate many life experiences into 12 short songs. I will definitely keep tabs on this artist and recommend you do the same!