As the singer songwriter truly settles into the differences of Spanish/European life his music takes on an entirely different emotive quality. What once was the sound of a lonely acoustic guitar akin to the namesake of both his home state and the wonderful Springsteen album, now a beautiful and haunting slide guitar lays over the lush arrangements of the opening title track "Sweetie". Sounding as golden and heartfelt as a day spent staring into the gold wheat fields and Spanish architecture Rouse is using an arsenal of attacks to prove that he is moving on from his failed marriage but not forgetting
With the new found freedom in the recording studio and the precedent set by his opening track Rouse delves into characters and places that seem all to familiar to us and sometimes him. The broken hearted lover in " Italian Dry Ice", the hard working bassist in the Jackson Brown inspired "Hollywood Bass Player"
But the title track he digs into his own relationships, "Domesticated Lovers" his idea that he was suffocating in his marriage because his art was being compromised for love. She couldn't understand that he wouldn't allow for the sacrifice, both angles set to a sort of countrified soft rock rythm with an easy organ and snare, while also including a the "suffocating" voice of a woman on harmonies.
Rouse's album is a testament to the idea that emotion doesn't have to be derived from anger or hatred, but pain and sadness can contribute much more. With a very new sound, a sort of hipster-Stax era recorded by a disciple of Phil Spector, Rouse makes each song resonate long after each listen. With a lighter more refined sound the lyrics take center stage and truly complete the desired effect.