Nashville singer-songwriter Caitlin Rose comes by her talent naturally: Her mother, Liz Rose, has written many songs with Taylor Swift, including the hit singles "Teardrops on My Guitar" and "You Belong With Me". The younger Rose's sophomore album, "The Stand-In", isn't quite as glossy or radio friendly as those songs, but it's pleasantly sweet, showcasing her gentle voice and lilting Americana sound.
"The Stand-In" opens with a bang. "No One to Call" is a sultry, twangy rocker that oozes with an aching loneliness. The rest of the album is mellower but no less emotional. "Silver Sings" is plaintive and wistful, and on "Golden Boy", Rose's voice drips with emotion on the final repetition of "I'm reaching up if you're still reaching down."
When Rose strays from her Americana flair, however, the songs become less distinctive. "Everywhere I Go" plods through a bland adult-contemporary sound, and "Pink Champagne" never really goes anywhere, despite the presence of a slide guitar. There aren't a whole lot of risks on "The Stand-In"; the most shocking moment comes when Rose drops an F-bomb on the otherwise honey-smooth "Dallas". Still, the album makes for a pleasant listen, underscoring Rose's sweet, understated tone.
-- Catherine P. Lewis