Upon listening to These Friends of Mine, it's not surprising to learn that singer-songwriter Rosie Thomas contributed a tune to a recent children's album. Her music is of the gentle, melodic variety ideally suited to that genre. It's a bit of a jolt, however, to learn that she's a sometime stand-up comedian. If her comedy is as mild and apolitical as her music, why would be anyone be interested in it? Conversely, if she's a bold and witty comic, where are those traits on These Friends?
These Friends of Mine is pleasant enough, but it's utterly lacking in passion. Most of her songs are upbeat, which wouldn't be a problem but for the fact that none of them are particularly catchy. Tracks like "Why Waste More Time?" and her cover of R.E.M.'s "The One I Love" hint at a darker lyrical side, but Thomas still sounds pretty damn cheerful singing them.
Thomas possesses a strong voice and good accompaniment, but she needs to add some edge to her songs, and her stand up comedy background might help here. Sounding even a touch pissed-off on occasion, as well as throwing in a little political incorrectness here or a touch of emotion there would have dramatically improved this album.