Caroline Rose Gets Vulnerable with The Art of Forgetting

Music Reviews Caroline Rose
Caroline Rose Gets Vulnerable with The Art of Forgetting

The Art of Forgetting, the latest album from Nashville singer/songwriter Caitlin Rose is a departure in both theme and production from their previous release, Superstar. While Superstar paid homage to ’80s cinema and a culture obsessed with celebrities, The Art of Forgetting finds inspiration through Balkan cries and the natural life cycles of handcrafted instruments. Although Rose has created fictionalized characters before, here they delve deep into their vulnerabilities and pain in The Art of Forgetting: a memoir of healing.

Caroline Rose’s portrayal of a new beginning during the first three tracks of The Art of Forgetting is visceral and guttural. Each track that samples their grandmother’s voicemail indicates a new phase of the record—even a monumental phase in Rose’s life. The tracks remarkably set the pace and atmosphere for the entirety of the record.

Rose’s production of vocal layering really glimmers in tracks like “Rebirth” and “The Kiss.” Each individual take was recorded with purpose and intention, and combined they sound like all the past and present voices piling on top of each other, leaving no room for anything else. It feels like a memory that hasn’t been touched for ages and looks just as pristine as when it was first formed. The record punches hard with fading memories, recalling past lives and long-lost friends. “Everywhere I Go I Bring The Rain” and “Love Song For Myself” are highlighted by the strumming and arpeggios of acoustic guitars. They speak softly and extend grace with swirling melodies.

What’s a journey of healing without someone to help you along the way? “Jill Says,” is about Rose’s therapist and how their words have impacted the musician. It’s needed to help tell Rose’s story but is quite the slow burn. It can be a little hard to get into until the soprano notes of harps make their entrance. It’s one of the most experimental tracks on the record with the sounds of tapes being rewound and the hammers of the piano becoming an integral part of the track. It also has the most strings used throughout the record with harps and violins making the track sound classically romantic.

The Art of Forgetting reinforces its themes of memory by highlighting wooden and string instruments, tape and granular synthesis, creating a mesmerizing whole. “Tell Me What You Want,” is undoubtedly the best track on the album. The witty and literal lyrics are bolstered by gritty guitar and Rose singing, “I just gotta take a beat / To get some fresh air in my lungs.” Rose’s “CLICK-CLOCK” to check the mic calls attention to the next few lines, “I’m an actor because I’m scared / And I’m fully unprepared for this.” It’s fabulously dynamic in texture with different fortes and meticulous phrasing. Rose has reached new heights on this record, executing her ideas flawlessly.

“Where Do I Go From Here?” is a grand curtain call for this journey of healing. The track is equally as dynamic in texture and phrasing as “Tell Me What You Want,” with bombastic drums feeling hearty and rotund. Not exactly sure where to go anymore, Rose screams the lyrics “Come on now, babe, take all this pain / And learn to love yourself again.” A self-fulfilling prophecy spoken over themselves the track ends with a sample of Rose calling their grandmother back and explaining what they had for lunch. After all the missed calls and trying not to worry their family, they’re confident to say that they’re making it through the pain and grief.

Watch Caroline Rose perform on a Brooklyn roof for Paste Studios back in 2013:

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