11 Songs, 39 Minutes


Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

samnewk ,

One of my favorites - an overlooked treat!

During a recent interview (it may have been on AOL's The Interface), Josh stated that his least favorite record of his is 'Under Cold Blue Stars.' He went on to explain that the recording process was difficult and painstaking. But through his trials (along with those of the album's narrated 1950's couple), he really has crafted a beautiful album. Any fan who was introduced to Mr. Rouse through 'Nashville' or 'Subtitulo' and hasn't given this disc a spin is surely missing out!

The album surprisingly works well as a whole, balancing the right amount of acoustic and electric guitar alongside spacey synth motives. The title track is a highlight; the bluesy tone manages to comfortably distract from the somewhat sad story behind it. 'Christmas with Jesus' and 'Feeling No Pain' are gritty, poignant tunes. 'Women and Men' is my personal favorite - the chorus will give you chills and the lyrics are some of the best that Rouse has written.

I highly recommend this album as well as its predecessor, 'Home.' At 38 minutes, it's engaging and calls for multiple listens. And if you are able, wait for a clear night and enjoy it under the stars. The atmosphere this record creates definitely suits its title!

baseline jumper ,


So the Nashville album gets all the props...but this early album is just as good, if not better. Haunting arrangements, intimate vocals, and hooks with more energy than those found on his later albums make Under Cold Blue Stars a must-have for JR fans. I bought this back in '02, and then when his big big big albums came out in the following years, I thought that his new sound had lost "something," but I couldn't put my finger on it. That unspeakable magic is on this album, though.

CRTube ,

The Full Rouse Experience

This was the Josh Rouse album that totally blew me away & I still return to it time and time again. Rouse took all the great things he was doing on "Home" and then amped them up to a whole new level. What was new? The sound and songs are superior. Roger Moutenot, producer for Yo La Tengo, was put in charge. The sequencing of tracks is incredible! Pat Sansone, from Autumn Defense, played multiple instruments, recorded, & co-wrote. Curt Perkins of Stella U.S. joined as a co-writer & musician, & Perkins would stay with Rouse for the next 2 albums. My all-time favorite Rouse track "Miracle" is here. Other stand outs are at a high-level of quality, like "Nothing Gives Me Pleasure," "Christmas With Jesus," "Under Cold Blue Stars," "Feeling No Pain" & "Women and Men." A rare song without a Rouse songwriting credit is "Ear to the Ground." But Rouse had so much good material around this time that most of the B-sides were released as the Bedroom Classics EP (Volume 1), most of which appear on his Rykodisc compilation. I consider this album & its EP to be the natural companion of "Home." This is my go-to Rouse album for atmosphere.

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