Lou Rhodes – Beloved One

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Album cover for Lou Rhodes "Beloved One"

Lamb is my biggest sleeper artist of the past 25 years. My reaction to their first album was somewhere between “huh?” and “meh,” but they crept into my subconsciousness and Lou Rhodes emerged as one of my all-time favorite voices.

I was listening to Rhodes’ collaboration with Cinematic Orchestra on the lovely Ma Fleur when I discovered she released four solo albums over the past 15 years. How did this happen? Was I in a coma?

It’s a huge adjustment listening to Rhodes without Andy Barlow’s heartbroken production. However, there is heartbreak here, it simply sounds different. Rhodes’ marriage and band had both dissolved, yet she captured enormous hope and gratitude amidst the loss.

The record’s charms are subtle. The vocal delivery is unexpected yet pretty much perfect, and the performance elevates the words. The instruments are understated but they provide the perfect bed for these vocals.

I’ve used the word “perfect” twice now. I think I’m ok with that. It’s easy to miss the perfection of this album, but take a listen with your eyes closed in a dark room late at night and see what happens.

Released: January 30, 2006

About Chuck

Chuck is a lifelong music lover. He spent his 20s working as a professional musician before discovering he enjoys listening to music more than playing it. He knows a little bit about most genres, though electronic dance music, rock, and hip-hop are his favorites. Eleven albums/shows that transformed how he sees and hears the world (in order he encountered them): Fleetwood Mac Rumours; Van Halen Fair Warning; The Cure Standing on a Beach; John Coltrane Crescent; De La Soul Three Feet High and Rising; Puccini La Boheme (de los Angeles, Bjorling, Beecham); Everything but the Girl Walking Wounded; Carl Cox, Twilo, NYC, May 2000; Godspeed You! Black Emperor Yanqui U.X.O.; Grateful Dead. Fillmore East, NYC, April 1971; Taylor Swift 1989.

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