Tim Rose – Snowed In (The Last Recordings)

Valedictory album from singer who'd experienced a renaissance in the late '90s

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Tim Rose’s surly baritone was a suitably scourging late-’60s presence on apocalyptic protest songs such as “Come Away Melinda” and the classic “Morning Dew”, but there were fewer opportunities for prophets of doom in the hedonistic ’70s, and he soon slipped from view.

Cover versions by Nick Cave and Robert Plant revived interest decades later, and Rose made a return to performance in the mid-’90s, recording three more albums before finally succumbing to cancer in 2002, leaving behind the material that comprises Snowed In, a collection of murder ballads (“Hanging Tree”, “Down In The Valley” and a re-recorded “Long Time Man”), loser’s laments (“I Need Saving”, “So Much To Lose”) and reflections on life’s vicissitudes (“Come What May”), some co-written with producer Colin Winston-Fletcher.

Best of all is Winston-Fletcher’s title track, an atmospheric monologue about enforced solitude set to evocative sheets of synthesiser, which makes good use of the grizzled, weatherbeaten tones that had secured Rose voiceover work on ’80s commercials. An intriguing new departure, it was sadly a style discovered too late to affect his career.

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