Universal - 2003 - 60 minutes

The new album from Swedish-born Eagle-Eye Cherry is very much off the beaten track in terms of subject matter. Aside from the personal focus of tracks such as 'This Paralysis', 'Feels So Right' and 'Crashing Down', 'Sub Rosa' places the spotlight on story-telling and observation of the world we live in.

Songs like 'Skull Tattoo', 'The Strange' and 'Twisted Games' are peopled with out of the ordinary personalities: the woman with the skull tattoo for example, or the boy obsessed with guns. These characters are manifestations of the turbulent and often bizarre world in which we live.

Interesting as these are, it is the music that grabs your attention at first. 'Sub Rosa' is very polished, production-wise, with complex notes and harmonies, making it a refreshing and contemporary listen. A lot of work has gone into producing this record, and it shows.

This combination of music, lyrics and Cherry's unique vocal talent make 'Sub Rosa' a difficult album to pigeonhole. It encompasses the laid back, easy listening tones of R'n'B and soul as well as the more up-tempo elements of rock.

'Sub Rosa' is an enjoyable and refreshing listen. It's Cherry's third album and if this is his standard, it's safe to say that we can look forward to more in the future.

Katie Moten

Tracklisting: This Paralysis - Skull Tattoo - The Strange - Up To You - Don't Give Up - How Come - Feels So Right - Crashing Down - Twisted Games - The Food Song - If It Can't Be Found - If You Don't Know By Now - No Parade - Never Let You Down