Cute, funny, touching and profound are just a few words to describe Bess Rogers’ debut, “Decisions Based On Information.” The Brooklyn-based singer’s quirky compositions cross genres like Americana/alt-country, indie rock, twee and folk, leading to an uneven but always fascinating album.
Songs like “Modern Man” and “I Would Never” are sweet and poppy without being Sixpence-None-The-Richer cloying or sad sack like the Sundays. In “You and Me,” the pop hooks come fast and furious, but there’s this great fiddle break in the middle that reminds you that a real person, with real skill and sense, created something great here—it’s not just throwaway producer-generated candy. But there’s also more obtuse songs, like “Sunday,” which features unique rhythms and ends in what would be a punky, noise-rock explosion if it weren’t so . . . Nice. Kind of like Marnie Stern without as much edge. There’s definitely a few messier almost-misses in the second, more experimental half of the record (I’m not a big fan of waltzes), but even these songs are worth a few listens. Overall, this is a great, great debut—possibly one of the best of the year.
You and Me