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CD Review: The Rosebuds – Unwind

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Maybe I’m getting old, but more and more I’m drawn to the “slower songs” on albums. You know the ones, they’re kind of weepy, mellow, a little nostalgic, winsome..

Fortunately for those who know what the heck I’m talking about, we have the Rosebuds. The Rosebuds cater to two types of music: peppy, pop songs that are all sunshine and summer days and the other? Slow, moody and broody type songs that make you enjoy quiet, grey days even more.

The Rosebuds are Ivan Howard (vocals/guitars/drums) and Kelly Crisp (keyboards/bass/keys/lap steel/and much more) – a husband and wife duo out of North Carolina. The two didn’t take a honeymoon, but instead started the Rosebuds a week after their wedding. While performing around their home town, someone who didn’t include a close family member or friend heard them and liked them. The rest, as they say, is history.

On Unwind the Rosebuds are taking a slight vacation (maybe it’s a musical honeymoon?) from their first release, Making Out. With only 6 tracks on Unwind, it passes too quickly and only half the songs (that would be 3) leave a lasting impression – “You Better Get Ready”, “El Camino” and “Unwind”.

The opening track, “You Better Get Ready” is a bit like the odd kid out. It’s an energized, poppy tune with plenty of rock ‘n’ roll influence and makes you excited for what’s to come next on Unwind. However, the fun rock ‘n’ roll doesn’t really make an appearance again until the last track, “I’d Feel Better” with the chanting, playful guitar and extra vocals in the background it’s a great way to end it, but also leaves you wondering what happened to the songs in between the first and last.

“El Camino” is a personal favorite. Definitely moody, it’s an ode to the wonderfulness that is the El Camino. It’s about time someone paid tribute to one. It’s a clever, melodic track with small acoustic parts and really, the most crafty song of the six.

The title track, “Unwind” is a relaxed number, and suddenly the guy jumping into pool on the cover (circa 1950? 60?) makes sense. You can almost smell the sun tan lotion and barbecue with burgers grilling. And you know what? It sounds (and smells) awfully good.

Unwind was recorded “in a cozy little place close to home” and it sounds like it. It gives off a warm and cozy glow and the more you listen to it, the more it seems as if Ivan and Kelly could just as well be playing in your living room.

Complete track listing:
You Better Get Ready
El Camino
Is There Room?
Edmund Street
I’d Feel Better

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About Jennifer Best

  • Dennis Scanland

    Hey, any reason why you posted a review of an older Rosebuds album? The new one, Birds Make Good Neighbors, is a great album and should get a review on the site.

  • Jones Violet

    Dennis, I think someone will be doing a review for it in the future.