The Rose have made a grand return with their first full-length album. It’s a hard-won comeback, arriving on the heels of a legal battle with their former agency. And while I may not have been particularly hyped about it in the beginning, pre-release Childhood caught my ear a few weeks ago. I still think it’s the best song the group has released yet, though it may not have an obvious “title track” sound.
Now that the album has been unveiled, concluding track Sour acts as its main single. This stadium-ready rock energy is what I expect from The Rose. They’ve pretty much perfected the sound, making Sour feel like an easy return. It’s a crowd-pleasing singalong, but doesn’t go beyond that. Soft percussion gives a sense of build – especially during the verses. However, the chorus is a bit underwhelming. There’s not much melodic heft here and the instrumental stalls when it should soar.
In short, Sour ticks all the boxes. That’s what makes it play like comfort food, but it’s also what makes it pass by without landing any sucker punches – emotional or otherwise. Its best moments arrive during the instrumental bridge, when a gorgeous synth texture adds a brief spike of interest. Sour could do with more of these unique touches, as well as a higher tempo and a less repetitive melody. Thankfully, we’ll always have the evocative Childhood to anchor this era of The Rose’s career.