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These Friends of Mine
Artist: Rosie Thomas 
Label: Nettwerk Records 

Stocki reviews Rosie Thomas's new album which is now available on iTunes before the CD release in March...

Another consummate release from the class act that is Rosie Thomas. What These Friends of Mine shows through little seemingly irrelevant chat between songs is the quirky high pitch comic persona of Thomas that takes on a transformation when she starts to sing. It is so hard to think of her as a comedian. The songs are serious in construction and content. Her voice is soft with a confidence for honesty and subtle revelation. She writes these seemingly light songs with a fragile voice that sometimes beguiles the weight of her conclusions and strength of her wisdom. New York gets name checked a few times and is used as metaphor for a world that is lost its way in lack of sleep to dream and lack of living to love. One of the New York pieces "Much Farther To Go" is an example of her skill. A seeming simple lost love song in a New York setting for effect she suddenly but without fanfare open up bigger questions:

And I sang a song her mother sang to her
And it goes something about paper dolls and what men prefer
Something about the cross and how her Jesus died for her
Something about love and how itís worth fighting for...
I wonder does love like that exist anymore? 
To mention at the end and so not to over shadow her work with it, the genius of Sufjan Stevens co-writes a song, produces and contributes banjo but most effectively backing vocals. The harmonies that also include another mate Denison Witmer are the most the stand out sound in a very understated production which is an antithesis of how Sufjan works on his own stuff. Thomasís delicateness needs the faintest touches of accompaniment. Leaves you wondering still, how she can be a stand up comic?

Steve Stockman

Steve Stockman is the Presbyterian Chaplain at Queens University, Belfast, Ireland, where he lives in community with 88 students. He has written two books Walk On; The Spiritual Journey of U2 which he is currently updating and The Rock Cries Out; Discovering Eternal Truth in Unlikely Music. He dabbles in poetry and songwriting and he has a weekly radio show on BBC Radio Ulster (listen anytime of day or night @ He has his own web page--Rhythms of Redemption at . He also tries to spend some time with his wife Janice and daughters Caitlin and Jasmine.


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