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Joshua Radin - Simple Times Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9
Musicianship 8.25
Lyrics 7.5
Production 8.25
Creativity 8.25
Lasting Value 9
Reviewer Tilt 9
Final Verdict: 85%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.25
Musicianship 9.17
Lyrics 8.83
Production 9.17
Creativity 8.58
Lasting Value 9.25
Reviewer Tilt 9.5
Average: 91%
Inside AP.net

Joshua Radin - Simple Times

Reviewed by: Travis Parno (09/26/08)
Joshua RadinSimple Times
Record Label: Mom & Pop Music Co.
Release Date: September 9, 2008


There’s a fresh breeze blowing in through my window, carrying with it the crisp cool of fall and the sounds of a sleeping city. It’s starting to get chilly outside, but in my room, the weather’s wonderful. I’m halfway through my first listen of Joshua Radin’s sophomore effort, Simple Times, and the warmth I’m feeling isn’t just a side effect of my steaming cup of apple cider. I probably look like an idiot, staring out over the busy streets with a smile on my face, but I don’t care. It’s that sort of album.

Listeners were first introduced to Radin’s approachable folk in 2006 with the release of We Were Here. Supported by several prior appearances on the soundtrack of NBC’s Scrubs (thanks to Radin’s longtime friendship with Zach Braff), the singer/songwriter charmed audiences with wistfully sensitive melodies and delicate, descriptive lyrics. We Were Here brought Radin’s sun up over the horizon, but with Simple Times, he’s reached his zenith.

Gone is the layer of insecurity that lurked beneath the surface of Radin’s previous albums. Sure, his voice still quivers in that oh-so-lovable way, but this is clearly a more confident artist. His self-assurance, together with a subtly complex foundation of instrumentation that provides a complement to the finger-picked guitar lines, lends an air of graceful maturity to Simple Times. From the effortless joy of “Brand New Day” to the compelling collaborations (“Sky (feat. Meiko), “They Bring Me to You,” and “You Got Growin’ Up To Do (feat. Patty Griffin)”), Radin has proven his growth without drastically altering his signature sound. Even the small deviations that he makes are successes. “Vegetable Car,” a sticky-sweet pop tune complete with hand-claps, would probably be corny if it weren’t so damn catchy, and the supple strains of one of Radin’s most well-written songs to date, “No Envy No Fear,” provide a beautifully mellow conclusion to the album.

Radin’s strength is in his delivery, a fact that’s evident throughout the rolling hills of Simple Times. There are times, however, when the lyrics suffer in front of the record’s relaxed moods. As soft strings murmur and hum in the background of “Free of Me,” Radin stumbles through such duds as “I’m on my knees/ Crying out please/ Go now and don’t look back/ My life’s come off its tracks.” Ouch. Fortunately, these poetic slipups are few and far between, something which couldn’t be said as readily in the case of We Were Here.

Simple Times is, quite simply, a victory. The album couldn’t be named more appropriately. Once again, Radin has captured the natural beauty of the world with whispered words and the folk-infused strings of his guitar, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Out there, the leaves are changing and there’s talk of the first frost. In here, the sun is shining.

Give it a try if you like...Colin Hay, Nick Drake, Simon & Garfunkel, the Garden State soundtrack


Hear it on the internetzOfficial Myspace | Official Website


Track List1. One of Those Days
2. I’d Rather Be With You
3. Sky (feat. Meiko)
4. Friend Like You
5. Brand New Day
6. They Bring Me to You
7. Vegetable
8. Free of Me
9. You Got Growin’ Up To Do (feat. Patty Griffin)
10. No Envy No Fear
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 20
01:09 PM on 09/26/08
#2
WhoSaidThat?
twitter.com/TiredOfSeth
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Agreed on all accounts, Travis. Way to go.
02:38 PM on 09/26/08
#3
EvaMore
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I loved his first album.
I can't wait to hear this.
02:56 PM on 09/26/08
#4
Blake Solomon
Leave a one-way note.
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wonderful review!
03:16 PM on 09/26/08
#5
SwishMX48
In December, drinkin' Horchata
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Great fall album, I'm really enjoying it.
03:29 PM on 09/26/08
#6
Travis Parno
my sensible heart
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Agreed on all accounts, Travis. Way to go.


thanks, guys!
05:53 PM on 09/26/08
#7
roju
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i've heard this once, and so far i like!
07:57 PM on 09/26/08
#8
drudo182
You Are Not Alone
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Seriously, one of my favorites of the year. Just might land in my top five of 2008. Love it so much.
08:28 PM on 09/26/08
#9
Ryzenfall
makin' good time
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I wonder why Ingrid Michaelson was replaced with Meiko on Sky.

His debut never struck me as anything incredible, but this release is great. His vocals sound like they got so much better.
11:28 PM on 09/26/08
Shakriel
I just need reassurance.
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I've been listening to this cd nearly non-stop since iTunes released it. :)
01:57 AM on 09/27/08
blinkme
Sinatra blue
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this is a great great album. nicely written review too!
01:58 AM on 09/27/08
blinkme
Sinatra blue
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I've been listening to this cd nearly non-stop since iTunes released it. :)

ditto
06:46 AM on 09/27/08
ExplodingStereo
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Everyone I knew started really liking him when his last album came out, so I thought it was all hype. I might have to check this out now...
12:31 AM on 09/28/08
Sic Transit Zeb
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great stuff
09:51 AM on 09/28/08
neepz
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Got this album yesterday.. Good stuff
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