Josh Rouse: El Turista
(Yet) Another side of Josh Rouse
Expat singer/songwriter Josh Rouse is a musical chameleon, exploding into beautiful new aural shades with each record. His 2003 album, 1972, was a tribute to the AM pop and proto-disco sounds of his birth year. Two years later, he released Nashville, which explored a more contemporary fusion of folk rock and subtle electronic flourishes. But the biggest sonic shift came in 2006 when Rouse moved to Spain and began soaking up that country’s rich culture.
The result, Subtitulo, featured some Spanish-titled songs, a laidback feel and plenty of nylon-string guitar. On his latest, El Turista, Rouse takes things a step further, diving headfirst into jazzy, lushly orchestrated, early-’60s-indebted Spanish-language tunes that play like a cross between Astrud Gilberto’s bossa-nova classics and Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas. Rouse even ventures into The Rhythm of the Saints-era Paul Simon territory (“I Will Live on Islands”) and channels Eric Burdon & War (“Lemon Tree”), stamping it all with his unmistakable croon.