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Rosey reveals true hues

November 28, 2002|Steve Hochman | Special to The Times

"Dirty Child," the recent debut album by singer-songwriter Rosey, casts her as a hybrid of Fiona Apple and Macy Gray, with perhaps a bit of Alanis Morissette tossed in. The album was even produced by Gray's collaborator, Darryl Swann, who pumped its aura with layers of urban grit and hipster sass.

But when Rosey stripped off those layers for an acoustic performance at the AlterKnit Lounge on Tuesday, it was clear just how miscalculated the album's approach was. Though her singing shares some qualities with both Apple's and Gray's, she's an ill fit in their sonic clothing. In her own wardrobe, though, she's a real find.

Casual and earthy, the New York-raised L.A. resident opened the hourlong set with the luscious Harry Warren-Mack Gordon standard "At Last," showing off a honey-and-sand voice that's the rare combination of power and character. It was a perfect compass for the set. Accompanied just by guitarist Josh Lopez (and occasionally her own six-string), she mixed in a few more jazz-pop oldies, but also showed a classic orientation in much of her own material.

A lot of her thematic content, though, is very much of today. She does name names (one song Tuesday included an unflattering reference to Maverick Records executive Guy Oseary) and lyrically bares, well, everything. Ultimately the show suggested that the best setting for her might be fronting a small combo. But the presentation here, unlike the album, allowed her to be really Rosey.



Where: The Echo, 1822 Sunset Blvd., L.A.

When: Saturday, 8 p.m.

Price: Free

Contact: (213) 413-8200

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