STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 123851-19001 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
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.
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