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A review of ‘Rome’ by Josh Pyke

Australia’s own lyrical genius Josh Pyke has just his released his long-awaited album called ‘Rome’. After a hiatus that allowed Josh to focus on his other creative skills, there was still music within him that needed to be released. Keeping true to his style Josh has written songs that are super relatable. A word of warning, there are songs within that can bring emotions to the surface through the intense empathic lyrics. This is one of the reasons that I adore ‘Rome’ as well as Josh’s emotion filled vocals. I highly recommend this album.

Like many albums in late 2020 there is a focus on the emotional toll of the events in this incredibly difficult year, such as the devasting bushfires here (Australia) and of course the COVID 19 Pandemic. There are also songs that celebrate love and the concept of home. The album title ‘Rome’ was chosen as the famous quote “All Roads Lead to Rome’ written in 1175 by Alain de Lille.

Josh is open to discuss why he took a break from writing music as he was stuck on the merry go round of writing, releasing and touring… repeat and how this took a toll on his emotional health. I feel his honesty and ability to write songs that others can connect to has made ‘Rome’ a special album indeed. The lead song ‘Old Times Sake’ sets the scene well, with gentle guitar and piano music and the exploration of how our past can be intertwined with our present, even when we try our best not to let it. Lyrics such as “I won’t break my heart on the old times sake anymore” certainly struck a chord in my own personal past relationship experience.  ‘After listening to ‘Old Times Sake’ I took an emotional journey willingly through the album.

The standout tracks on ‘Rome’ are ‘I Thought We Were A River’, ‘Home’ and ‘You’re My Colour’. ‘I Thought We Were A River’ changes the tempo of the album, to an upbeat feel. Written during a time where he had time to reflect on his life, Josh states “I started thinking about life in our I’ve often thought of myself as somebody that is why a river carving and creating these things and it sort of dawned on me that I am not the river, we all are and life is the river.” I can relate to this, thinking that I had control of my life, however I am not, life is unpredictable like the journey of a river to the sea. Relatable much? Think 2020!

Straight after ‘I Thought We Were A River’ comes another gem called ‘Home’. Written by Josh while sitting in his kitchen staring at a patch of sun shining through the window, Josh reflected what is the concept of home means to him. The lyrics explain that home does not necessarily mean bricks and mortar, but it can be a person. This is a concept I agree with, wherever my husband is, looking into his eyes is what I consider my home.

The song I like the most of ‘Rome’ is ‘You’re My Colour’. I like the contrast of the description of the factual definition of what a colour is, to the description of his feelings of the person that he is singing about. Gently supported by guitar and piano, this song really gives me a sense of my fortune of having someone that is my colour and that it is reciprocated. 

‘Rome’ has all the elements that I love in an album. I want to listen to ‘Rome’ all the time, due to Josh’s beautiful vocals and supporting music. I do enjoy listening to an album that I connect with on a deep emotional level. ‘Rome’ is best listened to for the first time when you are in an introspective mood. I encourage you to listen to ‘Rome’ and see where it takes you.

Quotes taken from my interview with Josh – read that here.

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