Rose In The Dark opens with the harmonic mantra "One Love" before the jazzy bass line and drum knocks of "Why Don't You" entice us to settle in for a cozy listen. With dulcet horns and doo-wop vocals, the reggae-tinged "Young Love" is a whole mood. Meanwhile, "Rewind" and title track "Rose In The Dark" are steeped in nostalgic overtones. Cleo then proceeds to hypnotize the listener in two different ways – with the seductive sultriness of "When I'm in Your Arms" and the heartfelt devotion of "Sideways."
"Butterfly" passes the acoustic baton to the album's next two tracks – "Sure of Myself," a down-tempo ballad with lush harmonies, and "I Love You," an aching, Rhodes-driven tune that seamlessly segues from sparse to layered composition. The vintage jazz-soul vibes of closing track "Her Light" deliver a cinematic finale to this incredible selection of authentic soul music.
It's hard to believe Cleo had doubts about releasing the project. In a transparent post, she admits, "I've been going back and forth with whether there will be a right time to release music this year, as I always go with trusting my heart and it hasn't felt quite right." She continues, "But this is bigger than me, and I always have to remind myself I'm simply a vessel...so my album is here for u to listen to, to uplift you, move you or be your backing track vibes whilst we are all moving through this moment."