Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Pop Music Review

A Lighthearted Honesty Tempers Sweet Songs

June 20, 2002|Natalie Nichols

Singer-songwriter Rosie Thomas began her set at Spaceland on Tuesday by explaining that she used to do stand-up comedy. You probably wouldn't have guessed that from listening to her delicately emotional tunes.

But her exaggeratedly self-conscious between-song patter did foreshadow her encore appearance as Sheila, a hapless, monosyllabic pizza-delivery girl with a neck brace, thick glasses and a major thing for Leonardo DiCaprio.

Thomas' sense of humor wasn't so obvious in her songs. Yet the material, drawn mostly from her solo debut album on the Sub Pop label, "When We Were Small," has a thoughtful, lighthearted honesty that reflects a woman who is comfortable with her goofiness.

Performing alone with acoustic guitar and sometimes backed by a three-piece band, the Seattle-based artist mixed folk, country and alt-pop in numbers inspired by reflections on her childhood.

Such memories could easily turn cloying, but Thomas was never overly precious or histrionic, despite addressing such formative challenges as her parents' divorce.

Her clear, high singing recalled Joni Mitchell, and Thomas' direct delivery set her apart from so many shoe-gazing indie-pop sensitive souls. Also appealing was the underlying sense of resiliency in such selections as "Wedding Day," which treated the end of a marriage as a blissful fresh start.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|