Josh Garrels - Love & War & The Sea In Between

Published Thursday 9th August 2012
Josh Garrels - Love & War & The Sea In Between
Josh Garrels - Love & War & The Sea In Between

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 123851-19001
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

Let's be candid. Few independent albums are quite up to the standards of our record label favourites. The lack of production values brought about by a tiny or non-existent budget hold back many an independent release from fulfilling its full creative potential. So it's heartening to report that this project by a folk-tinged singer/songwriter from Portland, Oregon, neatly avoids such dangers. What is even more amazing is that this project is available from Josh as a free download! This brilliant 18-song collection takes in a wide range of influences. "Sailor's Waltz" has a gypsy music flavour; "White Owl" offers some tasty jazz flourishes; while songs like "Million Miles" echo the best of Ray LaMontagne and "Bread And Wine" Jack Johnson without ever copying those mainstream luminaries. Lyrically Josh is a master. With prophetic precision he denounces unjust institutions on "The Resistance" ("I was born into a system constructed for failure/It's a sinking ship manned by drunken sailors"), while the haunting "Farther Along" asks some deep spiritual questions ("Tempted and tried, I wondered why/The good man dies, the bad man thrives/And Jesus cries because he loves 'em both.") Undoubtedly one of the best albums of 2011.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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