Rosie Lowe is a name we feel like we hear every year. Although sometimes it comes to us as Anna Calvi, or another time it might be Laura Welsh. The thing is, hers is quite a tough niche to crack. Female singer-songwriter, making an inventive first impression but finding it very much difficult to sustain a distinct enough full-length, or indeed career.
That’s certainly the problem that her debut Control suffers from. Everything is technically on point, and all the boxes are ticked for a clean, polished record. But there’s a bit of heart and personality missing, leaving us on the other side without the knowledge of who Lowe is or what she stands for.
Sonically speaking, there’s also nothing here that we haven’t heard done before, or better. Who’s That Girl? is a pleasant tour of atmospheric pop, but not the sort to create Banks-esque stanning. Worry Bout Us is classy as hell, but it comes like the disaffected offcut of a larger star.
None of this is Lowe’s fault, who seems to have the earnest approach here. But she’s swallowed by arrangements bigger than her, and her understated delivery on songs like Woman and Right Thing leaves her camouflaged. The result is a record that’s more serviceable than memorable, with Control very much needing the word ‘quality’ in front of it.