Home > Music Reviews, Uncategorized and Misc. > Review: The Rosebuds, Woods

Review: The Rosebuds, Woods

“Rosebud” were the final words of Charles Kane in the monumental film Citizen Kane–the riveting portrayal of a man who nearly owned the entire world upon his death. So what did those mysterious last words words mean? A former lover? A favorite line of a novel? A poem?

The answer actually turns out to be the name of his beloved sled–a sled he used many times during his youth. Why would  such a thing be uttered in his dying breath?

Because it represents far more than a recreational device–it represents pure innocence, a time in which Kane could carelessly and thoroughly enjoy life without the meandering highs and lows or the treacherous relationships one may endure in the business world.

Now whether the North Carolina duo The Rosebuds used the film as their bands namesake is uncertain, however I can see the relation. Their music has the instrumentation and sound that brings the listener joy–it’s upbeat with catchy intricate melodies in all the right places. Though, in the same breath, their lyrics are dark yet powerful–sad but beautiful.

The same bittersweet conundrum that you may find yourself in as paperwork piles upon your desk, rain pours outside and the only thing that keeps you going is a childhood toy, the missed face of a loved one or a happy fading memory. Sad that it’s in the past, yet glad that it’s pulling you through your downtrodden time.

The song Woods is off of the groups Loud Planes Fly Low album. This album is actually a monumental one since it marks the first album since the divorce of band members Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp. Most people were expecting the groups demise after the divorce, however the group came back with one of their most passionate and emotional albums to date–with eclectic melodies, great production and a few cryptic lines that may serve as a glimpse into the current relationship of the duo.

The track Woods is certainly one to speak of. The song emits a cheerfulness yet tension between the chimes and driving rhythm of the keys. A tension that slowly builds into the chorus where singer Howard sings to perfection over the melodic piano. The story of the song seem to tell the tale of watchful eyes, being trapped and the meeting of a sad yet inevitable fate.

You can’t burn what’s already on fire.” 

Though, the cheerful melody seems to dwarf the dark lyrics–giving it that aforementioned bittersweet feeling to it. You come in for the happy melody but stay for the emotional lyrics.

The expansive space caused by the haunting vocals and smaller details like the sparse harmony on certain lyrics is also something to take note of, as it adds leaps and bounds to the piece.

And ah the keys! Such a simple chord progression but such an essential aspect to the song–the keys acts as a constant to the vocals, right until the end– the vocals fade but the keys and chimes keep moving the track forward for just a few more bars.

The bitter lyrics and the sweet melody make Woods a very memorable and well done track, one that very much uses two conflicting forces to create an astonishing piece of art.

Album available now at Merge.

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  1. Matthew Planchard
    06/23/2011 at 8:32 am

    I do like this song, and you’ve made me want to see Citizen Kane, which I have yet to see.

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