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The Rock and The Tide
Joshua Radin The Rock and The Tide
Released 29 July 2011
Producer Martin Terefe
Label Mom & Pop Music
Length 46:02
Genre Alternative pop, rock
Website www.joshuaradin.co.uk

American singer-songwriter Joshua Radin is probably best known by the fact that many of his songs have featured prominently in episodes of TV shows like One Tree Hill, Vampire Diaries, Scrubs and Grey’s Anatomy. His pleasant style of acoustic love songs are for the most part extremely well suited to this role. In fact as a result of this actor Zach Braff has described Radin as the next Paul Simon. I’m not sure if this is a massive exaggeration of Radin’s abilities, or a massive insult to one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time, but based on Radin’s latest release, The Rock and the Tide, that statement has very little basis in reality.

A more accurate point of comparison would be the similarity in style Radin shares with James Blunt or James Morrison, but unfortunately he doesn’t even measure up to either of these, at least on this album. The Rock and the Tide doesn’t feel like Radin really has it in him to put any genuine emotional punch into his songs. Tracks like 'Road To Ride On' and 'The Ones With The Light' are pleasant, upbeat, inoffensive pop tunes, but also sound like they have borrowed heavily from Blunt and Morrison without being influenced to create anything better.

The best track on the album is probably 'Think I’ll Go Inside', a solo, acoustic effort, but even here Radin fails to make use of a strong voice and talented guitar playing to craft a song with any real life in it. The overall effect of the album is that Radin is a very nice, easy going guy, basically at peace with the world. Unfortunately the songs that result from this lack any emotional punch. They aren’t bad, just lacking something special to set them apart.

The Rock and the Tide features some songs which are just pop enough to appeal to everybody but not striking enough to really set them apart. While it is basically a good album it is certainly not going to electrify the music world, and the most play time these songs will probably get is their use in closing an episode of another American TV show.

- Bernard O’Rourke