‘Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone,’ so goes the bittersweet first track of Rosie Nimmo’s long awaited fourth album, Where Time Suspends.
Beneath the sunny strums and carefree sway of this first song ‘Laugh’ there is a deeper invisible current that follows Rosie’s soulful voice all the way through opening up the album, like daylight flickering through the trees. It seems the laughter is more stoic than humorous, though funny, the first lines and happy melodies will make you ponder, why smile for that camera? all while the jazz is nudging you to move your hips and tighten your lips.
Throughout ‘Where Time Suspends’ the lyrics and the music dance from hand in hand, to hand over your eyes, between an unironic sense of sarcasm, the darker parts of the breaking heart and the gravity of denial.
With the third track ‘Keyboard Warriors’ Rosie asks ‘where we going wrong?’ while slyly peeling back the facade of some dysfunctional societal mask that hangs just above our keyboards. Though the album is diamond studded with brilliant ballads and bright bluesy full band swagger, with the most joyful sounding production possible, there is still that hidden subtle shadow, like a storm gathering or someone peaking through the keyhole of a door.
On the seventh song, ‘Small Child’, Rosie reveals a bit more of that hidden self as she cautiously sings,’deep within ourselves lies the real me, we hide it like an oyster’s grain of sand’ over top a confidently hammered rhythm guitar and the poignant pluck of a Scottish fiddle.
As if looking for closure in an unreconcilable situation ‘Where Time Suspends’ ends with the song ‘Choices’ in which you get the feeling that whatever happened isn’t really over yet, with it’s groovy break beat and the realization that ‘in that moment, that fleeting moment we usually do what we have been programmed for.’
This song encapsulates that place where time suspends, where we make our choices from and asks who would we be without that programming. How would one approach life if there was such closure? Rosie’s lush and intimate singing and mindful articulation reminds of the vulnerable strength of Billie Holiday and the spiritual wittiness of Feist.
‘Where Time Suspends’ provides a solid validation of how music can heal the heart, but it takes a light hand.