Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Caitlin Rose ends her hiatus with CAZIMI's memorable set of reassuring messages


Release date: 18 November 2022
Caitlin rose cazimi art
14 November 2022, 00:00 Written by John Amen

Cazimi is Caitlin Rose's first project in 9-plus years.

Building on previous sets, notably 2013’s The Stand-In, Rose is at her most confident and relaxed, navigating country-and-pop-inflected hooks while addressing a range of perennial themes, including love, uncertainty, and the need for self-care in a world gone mad.

Rose tells herself to “play it smart” on upbeat opener “Carried Away,” though she also wants to be available for and not sabotage a relationship that has clear potential. The catchy “Modern Dancing” shows Rose equanimously manoeuvring her doubts, voicing the reality of loss but without collapsing into morbidity. “Nobody’s Sweetheart,” meanwhile, contrasts a straightforward folk-rock chug with ambient guitar flourishes, Rose depicting someone who is, on one hand, self-trusting but, on the other, perhaps overly cautious. Jordan Lehning offers a concise yet compelling guitar solo.

With “Getting It Right,” Rose pays tribute to her country-music heroes (Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Lucinda Williams, among others), pitching her tent in the neo-traditional campground alongside Plains (Katie Crutchfield and Jess Williamson), who recently released the similarly inspired I Walked with You a Ways. Cowriter Courtney Marie Andrews, no stranger to the Americana canon, joins in vocally, adding depth and warmth. “Gemini Moon” benefits from well-executed loud-soft dynamics and well-oiled segues between minor and major chords, exemplifying Rose’s versatile songcraft.

Rose again takes an optimistic stance on “All Right (Baby’s Got a Way),” offering hard-earned wisdom to someone who is facing a difficult period. “Take some time / wait and see,” she sings, advocating patience. At the same time, she urges the person in question to stand up for herself: “Why don’t you get up off the ground / it isn’t where you want to be.” Throughout the tune, Rose demonstrates her vocal skills, moving effortlessly from lower to higher pitches.

A few tunes fall short of Cazimi’s otherwise high bar. “How Far Away” achieves energetic shifts through strategically placed instrumental crescendos, though Rose’s vocal drags a bit. “Holdin’” features a stirring pre-chorus, though the promised earworm never arrives. “Only Lies” includes an alluring melody, though the relentless strum pattern grows a bit tedious.

Cazimi spotlights a Caitlin Rose who is sober and sanguine, engaged and restrained, empathetic yet capable of holding boundaries. The world is on fire, and there’s much to grieve, but also much for which to be grateful. Far from naïve or pollyanna, Rose offers a down-to-earth yet reassuring message, expressing faith in our collective resilience.

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