Country Mouse, City House
Label: Bedroom Classics
While a Josh Rouse song has its recognizable qualities -- sharp '70s and '80s pop hooks and clever, downbeat lyrics -- each one of his albums has a distinct feel to it. On this 2007 outing, Rouse pulls back on the hand-clapping, sing-along melodies a bit, going for a laidback, Paul Simon jazz-rock vibe on the lovely "Snowy" and the groovy, shuffling "Italian Dry Ice." The mood picks up for the disco-rocking "Hollywood Bass Player" and the indie-popping "London Bridges," while just about any country star could get a gold record by covering the clear-eyed weeper "Domesticated Lovers."