Slinking out of the silky darkness of the midnight hour towards the blissed out champagne pinks and purples of twilight, in 2021 Angus Stone returns with his beloved, intrepid Dope Lemon project!
So say the people: the third album is the one to keep ears on & eyes peeled for, and we believe this is a true testimony for the coliseum of Stone’s wonderful Dope Lemon tale. For his third heavy thinking Lemon album, Stone steps away from the observatory of space from his earlier records and towards something glitzier and glammier but no less thoughtful. This time, it’s all about true love, manifesting the bright silver clouds that only exist in your deepest dreams, meeting that dream girl you thought was a figment of your imagination. The Rose Pink Cadillac has arrived right on time, and there’s a ticket in your hot little hands to jump in and go for a ride.
Far from a retread of his past lives — although, no doubt, the rich waters of 2019’s Smooth Big Cat and 2016’s Honey Bones are still ripe for exploration — this year sees Stone taking a running leap into the warm lagunas and restorative hot springs of glittering, gorgeous new love. From the album’s first song — its title track and statement of intent, a tone-setting jaunt that immediately delineates this as a new era of Dope Lemon — romance oozes from this record. “Oh, I love the way you dance, oh, how you move your feet,” Stone sings, like some long-lost sailor on the shores in the moonlight. Settling into a gorgeous, sunny Sunday morning groove (albeit a Sunday morning with a soiree of the finest champagne) “Rose Pink Cadillac”’s gracious optimism tints the rest of this record, its golden tone dripping down like strands of hair sun-bleached from a weekend out at sea.
Cadillacs have a special place in Stone’s heart. Real ones will remember that the titular Smooth Big Cat of Dope Lemon’s 2019 album chauffeured one, driving Stone to the studio every night in an 80s Cadillac limo. This one is just as mystical, and just as epochal: the Rose Pink Cadillac came to Stone three times, each more vivid than the last.
First, in the astral plane: Stone was dreaming one night and came upon a heavenly, mystical creature — a beautiful woman, driving through the clouds in a winged Cadillac decked-out in that specific, rarest of shades. Later on, Stone saw the same woman with her pink Cadillac once again, this time under a hazy influence. The Cadillac was folding, enveloping, calling to Stone, closer than ever; suddenly, the dreamlike symbol had a tangible, thrilling recurrence in Stone’s life, beyond its significance in the dream. The third time Stone stumbled across the Cadillac, any traces of a heightened state were gone. He was sitting in a bar in the small town, speaking to a girl he had only just met. They got along well, a clear friendship blooming over the sticky carpet and some golden god’s nectar-filled pints. Finally, they got up to leave, and Stone stepped outside to discover that his new friend wasn’t just any girl, but the girl — the driver of the rose pink Cadillac, arriving manifest in his life with all the weight of those previous psychic and psychedelic experiences. It was fate, the kind of serendipity that could make you believe in anything.
The rest of Rose Pink Cadillac bristles with this kind of spiritually restorative self-belief. The palette on this album is new and brilliant for Stone, alive with a kind of possibility. Listen to the Tropicalia influence on “Howl With Me” or the heartbeat of a Clint Eastwood shoot-out western on "Stingray Pete” and hear the divine unlocking of full creativity that’s emerged in Dope Lemon this time around. On “Hi Rollin”, Stone sings in French, having taught himself the language for the song, duetting with the singer Louise Verneuil about the headrush of falling in love. Although the shift in tone is marked, you feel, deep in your (honey) bones, that those who already love Dope Lemon will fall further in love, and those who don’t might just have their ears piqued. This is a magnanimous, exciting album, one with plenty to give.
Rose Pink Cadillac was written and recorded by Stone under the spectre of global turmoil. Its sunkissed, unabashedly romantic outlook persists in spite of that: this is a paean to the spell that love puts us all under at one point or another, and a n appeal to try and find that rarest of feelings even in times of strife. This is a record to put on with your loved ones, to let envelop and overtake you with its wash of feeling. There’s a seat for all of us in the Rose Pink Cadillac.
A1. Rose Pink Cadillac
A2. Kids Fallin' In Love
A3. Howl With Me
B1. Stingray Pete
B2. Sailor's Delight
C1. Everyday Is A Holiday
C2. Lovesick Brain
C3. High Rollin
D1. God's Machete
D2. Shadows In The Moonlight
Media Condition: Mint (M)
Sleeve Condition: Mint (M)
Genre: Rock, Pop
Style: Alternative Rock, Psychedelic Rock