Although based in a rustic, country-western sound, Ray Raposa's Castanets are irreverent, using familiar elements like pedal-steel guitars and gospel choruses in defiant ways. Surprises crop up throughout Texas Rose, like the glitch rhythm of "Worn from the Fight" and the spacious synthesizers of "On Beginning."
Raposa's voice is vulnerable, coated in spooky reverb, as though coming from the bottom of a dark well. The grinding guitars of "No Trouble" recall Nick Cave, a midnight wailer amid flickering streetlamps on desolate streets. Raposa often sounds on the brink of breakdown, but it's not all about inner turmoil and pain: the album's emotional crux, "Down the Line, Love," is a torch ballad, with piano runs that bloom and explode like gorgeous flowers.
Then there's the fuzzy instrumental collage "We Kept Our Kitchen Clean and Our Dreaming Quiet," which pushes boundaries while staying focused. The Giorgio Moroder–like "Lonely Old Moon" is the sole oddity, a stark contrast to the rest of the album's organic feel. Texas Rose is moody and layered, and Raposa is adept at creating a world that is deep, enveloping, and enticing.