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Sam Alderson

Yellow Rose

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You could probably listen to Yellow Rose on a dreary, rainy day or on a lazy sun-filled weekend lying in the grass, but either way it seems best as a soundtrack for dreamy stillness.

Former local Sam Alderson apparently wrote and recorded the entire album while living in Argentina over the last year. It's a debut, and sometimes it feels like one, teetering a little too precariously on the line separating college dorm recording from legitimate singer-songwriter. In the end, though, it's an intriguing effort. The lyrical turns and catchy choruses give it wings, and it's easy to like it the more you listen.

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In "Rudy's Rockin," Alderson adds muted claps and hand drum thumps for texture. But it's images of Chinese dragon kites and good lines like, "Empty clouds and a cross-eyed sun, takin' me away from everything I love," that really make a strong impression. (Surprisingly, it doesn't really seem to be about Missoula's Rockin Rudy's despite mention of a record store.)

"Who Are You" is the catchiest tune and "Guitar String Tattoo" tells the best story. What I love most is how each song gives a visceral snapshot with a faint idea behind it while never beating a dead horse.

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