Rating: 4 Stars
Rose Droll, aka Ellen Bert from San Francisco, released an album in 2017 called “This Bee Wants a Cigarette,” a noteworthy fact. Lately, I have been finding better album titles in my music searches. It is easy to undermine the importance of a good album title as it can really have an effect on the album. Sure, it won’t make the album any better, but it might make you giggle or even sigh wistfully.
Droll’s newest album is called “Your Dog.” Full of many weird instrumental combinations from glockenspiel to cello to guitar, this album is quirky and compelling. Bert wrote and recorded every sound herself, with only minor assistance from others.
Listening to a record put together entirely by one person makes the album feel more intimate in a way, especially since you’re getting the artist unfiltered by any competing ideas. That may be why the lyrics on the record are so personal and unique. The CD case opens up to reveal four panels filled with the tiny font lyrics. With the amount of lyrics the album contains, Bert is able to express many interesting ideas.
The first song, “Outside Looking In,” is a mellow track with a drumline stumbling along under the entirety of the song. On top of the drumline, there are many intricate sounds throughout the track, requiring multiple listens to catch all of the delicate details. The track has a pleasantly unique sound, resembling a more upbeat, catchier version of artist Mount Eerie’s music.
The second track, “Hush,” begins to mix up the sound of the album. The song features similar, lush-yet-light arrangements, but Bert showcases her verbal abilities by dropping an interesting lyrical flow over the mellow indie sound. There is almost a lounge-singer vibe, but a really witty one with some hip hop inspired talent.
“Riddle,” the sixth track on the album, may be the strongest of the group. The upbeat sound is infectious and catchy. It’s interesting how Bert is able to push the album into new sounds while still maintaining its consistency. The song is just under two minutes and has enough switches of sound to keep a listener on their toes. By this point in the album, that has become a trend.
The album has a melancholic sound in plenty of songs however, there is wry humor, making it relatable to the modern young person. There is self-deprecation and a consistent mistrust of uncomplicated happiness. Rose Droll uses these emotions effectively giving her listeners a place to relate emotionally and maybe do some crying, but with the coolest soundtrack.