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Katrin, Frail to Fearless
self-released, possibly April 24

03/01/12
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Jangle-guitar chick Katrin Roush is based in Boston, where you may have seen her busking in such places as Harvard Square and Faneuil Hall. Her painfully vanilla bio-sheet hints ever so vaguely that she’s been through a little crap to get where she is, namely putting out vanity records to accentuate a career opening for fossils like The Fixx, Joan Armatrading, people like that. But stop a second, why am I being so mean to this (very nicely produced by Jerry Marotta, who’s worked with B-52s and blah blah blah) record? Well, when I read “hard-working dues-paying busker type” between the (vague) lines, I’m expecting a little rawness, world-class soulfulness, and an effort to cram every minute of every song with original, heartfelt hookage, like Theo Eastwind does. But these songs are basically Easter Island statues built to honor Paula Cole and Sheryl Crow, people like that, and such lyrics as “My dreams never fall asleep/They’re just lost somewhere in the laundry heap” are, similarly, so transparently soccer-mom-pandering that, you know, you just feel an urge to go to the ophthalmologist or something, anyplace where you don’t have to think about unadventurous clones making vanity records with release dates that change on a seemingly weekly basis, and P.S., her website is “KatrinRocks.com,” I’m serious. Other than all that, it’s a gem, certainly. C+ —Eric W. Saeger






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