If you were expecting more rootsy rock and twangy rockabilly on Caroline Rose’s sophomore album, you’re going to be surprised here. Turns out Rose has grown significantly as both an artist and a person in the last few years, and her music has followed suit. With a much larger pop and dance influence that she describes as being inspired by Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears as much as late 70s punk, the album’s both playful (see the cover) and serious, often unfolding like a kaleidoscope of sounds and topics.
Beats, pop hooks, synth, and clever, confident songwriting are set to Rose’s smokey vocals, while occasional, subtle Americana show traces of her former self. At times it’s an odd adventure, with off kilter humor and a frisky delivery, though there’s an underlying gloom with relationship woes, too. LONER documents a woman coming into her own as an artist, and it’s an oddly charming listen from an unconventional mind.