Rose’s wonderfully sweet voice is nestled once again amongst subdued, mostly acoustic guitars, melting hearts under sweaters. The songs are tender and warm yet ache here and there, a style fans of the Softies should recognize as quickly as they recognize the voice.
Portola is a collection of mostly unreleased songs Rose has recorded at different times, with different people, for different reasons (the liner notes explain all that better than I could); still it flows well as an album. Her originals are as strong as ever and the covers are well-chosen and lovingly executed. This is a must for anyone who has liked past bands she’s been involved with (the Softies, Tiger Trap, Gaze, Go Sailor), or a nice introduction. Either way, a must. Double Agent, Box 82, Cambridge, MA 02140; http://www.doubleagent.com