Material: Christine Rosander undoubtedly strives for her music to uplift and relate to her listeners’ lives. In her latest release Been A Long Time, Rosander shares her struggles and frustrations of the past few years before ultimately finding a path of self-acceptance and personal strength. She is unafraid of using her songs to not only reveal how deeply rooted her passion for music lies, but to also pay respect to the people in her life that have inspired her journey thus far. With carefully crafted tracks that blend elements of jazz, gospel, soft rock and Americana, Rosander’s melodies prove that they are very much a representation of who she is as an artist.
Musicianship: Careful to not allow her arrangements to overshadow her songwriting craft, Rosander primarily uses a combination of piano and light guitar to give her words an elegant yet warm and homey feel similar to that of Carole King, Barbra Streisand, Sara Bareilles, Celine Dion and even Dolly Parton. She carries her open and inviting tone into her live performance, which in turn gives the set a more intimate vibe for her classic adult contemporary style.
Performance: Whether its theme was relationships (“Honey For My Soul”), denial and frustration (“Hard Habit”), or finding hope in the darkest of moments (“Soul and Bone”), each song was an introduction to who this artist is and what she has triumphed over. Clearly articulated lyrics indicate a lifetime of vocal training, enhanced by her professional yet passionate demeanor. The small size of the venue, combined with a full band, almost overpowered Rosander’s vocals to the point that it was a bit hard to hear her lyrics at times. It was also obvious that she was trying to hold back her expressive body movements due to the lack of room she had to work with. Rosander did the best she could to maintain a relaxing, speakeasy-like atmosphere.
Summary: Christine Rosander is a skilled songwriter and singer, but the majority of her songs stay within the same modest vocal intensity. Ballad tempos make her set feel like it lacks a spark. Perhaps a much larger stage setup will enable this performer to unleash her inner Idina Menzel? Nevertheless, Rosander’s music emits a consistently clear ray of light, and no venue can take that away from her.