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Simple Times

Joshua Radin

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iTunes Review

Those who dismissed Joshua Radin's debut may find themselves pleasantly surprised with his slump-free sophomore album Simple Times. From the first chorus of the pensive opener "One Of These Days" it's clear that he's blossomed as a songwriter. His subtlety and restraint build a delicate tension, luring listeners with clever lyrics, intricate phrasing, and sublime hooks. "I'd Rather Be With You" has a buoyant beachy groove that Jack Johnson would dig, and the country-folk tinged "You Got Growin' Up To Do" was built on the foundation of Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," but some heaven-sent  harmonies via Patty Griffin keep the song sounding fresher than wild mountain thyme. Along with her guest vocals, Simple Times boasts other invited inflections by Schuyler Fisk, and "Sky" gets poppy and uplifting with wispy wails from Feist-influenced MySpace sublebrity Meiko. It's easy to forgive Radin for dropping the phrase "Lisa Loeb glasses" on the biodiesel themed "Vegetable Car," because deep down we'd all love to make a friend like the protagonist of this melodic musing. Simple Times is the sound of a young man hitting his stride.

Customer Reviews

Disappointingly generic

I've been a Joshua Radin fan for a few years now, primarily due to a sort of raw, poetic honesty in his music. While that's definitely still there in a couple tracks in Simple Times, it's lacking on the whole. The vast majority of the album abandons Joshua's beautiful, haunting melodies and strong lyrical imagery in favor of polished, generic, and frankly boring pop songwriting. In fact, the very first lyric of the album, from One of Those Days, is a great example: "'Wait right here' is all she said to me, / And so right here I stay." It just doesn't catch your ear the way the lyrics to, say, Star Mile do, especially because there isn't a whole lot going on musically in One of Those Days--or most of the songs in Simple Times, for that matter. Don't get me wrong, though; the album's still worth buying. If you've never heard any of his earlier stuff, you'll probably enjoy Simple Times as a fun, poppy album, and if you're a die-hard fan, you'll be interested to hear his new sound (and a couple solid old-school Joshua tracks).

GREAT CD...BUY THE WHOLE THING!

There are just a handful of artists who I would buy a cd from without previewing any tracks from that cd: Dar Williams, Patty Griffin, Sarah McLachlan, Vienna Teng, The Weepies.....and Joshua Radin. Although I loved each previous release from Joshua Radin, this one tops them all. It turned out to be better than I even hoped for! I love this version of You Got Growing Up to Do with the delicate vocals of Patty Griffin. Other stand out tracks: Vegetable Car, We Are Okay, I'd Rather Be With You.

Simply classic, absolutely beautiful!

I have been a longtime fan of Joshua Radin, & more often than not, his music has been sort of like a "soundtrack" to my life. I pleasantly unsurprised when he delivered, once again, an amazing compilation of songs. "No envy, No fear" is an instant favorite of mine, the classic Joshua with simple, beautiful guitar, lyrics & gorgeous subdued vocals. I'm also a big fan of "I'd rather be with you", "Friend like you", "You got growing up to do", "Brand new day" & "One of those days". Okay, so I guess I love them all :) "Sky" is one of my favorite songs, however the recording with Ingrid Michaelson on the EP is, in my opinion, a better version. I'm also a huge Ingrid fan, so maybe I'm biased :) All in all, you can't go wrong with buying the whole album, there is plenty for everyone, and it really is worth owning the whole thing. $9.99 is a small price to pay for such a beautiful collection!

Biography

Born: June 14, 1974 in Shaker Heights, OH

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Though Joshua Radin enjoyed singing during his childhood, the Cleveland native never intended to be a professional musician. Instead, he studied drawing and painting at Northwestern University, following his college years with stints as an art teacher, screenwriter, and art gallery employee. Eventually, Radin took a stab at songwriting and played one of his earliest compositions, "Winter," for his friend Zach Braff. The burgeoning actor/director took an immediate liking to the song, and "Winter"...
Full Bio

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