What would you expect a sixteen-year-old girl from Kennesaw, Georgia to create when it comes to music? A couple choices popped into my mind when I received a MySpace friend request from the young Miss Rose Walker. One being that this was more than likely some new pop country garbage and two, she was some bubblegum Britney Spears wannabe or even worse, she could worship at the altar of the infinitely more than worthless Pussycat Dolls. But a little voice inside my head told me to check out her page and I'm sure glad I listened.... this time.
Within seconds of hearing her music, all of the doubts and horrible scenarios that had built up in my mind in the minutes before I pressed play were gone, dashed, vaporized. Rose is an extraordinary talent in a far too ordinary music world; whereas many female musicians are currently singing about winning back their man or telling a guy to "shut up and drive" over mass-produced generic club ready beats, Miss Walker's voice soars high above such mundane topics, touching on things that few sixteen year olds would even comprehend. On her self-titled EP, Rose speaks of love, redemption, and loss and asks an unnamed force (presumably a boyfriend) to steal her away from this sad, harsh world.
This is not typically the type of music I even bother listening to but there was something different about this particular piano driven music; it shocked me. It blew me away and considering that I am a jaded, sarcastic, sometimes brutally honest cynic, blowing me away, metaphorically of course, is not an easy task.
Rose's obvious intelligence and skill with the piano is well beyond her years; at a time when most high school sophomores and juniors are primarily concerned about who they're going to date, passing their driver's test, where the party is or what shade of lip gloss to wear, Miss Walker is on the cusp of singer/songwriter superstardom. She is a perfect hybrid of Tori Amos, Regina Spektor, Mindy Smith and Emmylou Harris, yet she is able to find a voice within herself that is wholly original and pure. She has depth; she has soul and it there for anyone to hear.
Her tunes have a deep emotion that teeters on the brink of, but never falls into, the overdone, clichÃ©d bottomless emo chasm. The songs have innocence but are not naÃ¯ve and at times, they actually rock. Well, as much as one can rock with piano and elaborate string arrangements.
Produced by her older brother Andy Walker and backed by an exceptional collection of musicians, Rose is one of the best introductions to a new, young artist that I have ever heard and this jaded, brutally honest critic believes that the young Miss Rose Walker from Kennesaw, Georgia is the finest piano based singer/songwriter to come around since Elton John was Burning Down The Mission.
If Rose is not a star within the next year or two, all of the so-called indie music fans out there deserve what the big record labels are spoon feeding them and believe me, there's plenty of crap on that giant buffet to get everybody full.