Joshua Radin’s debut, We Were Here, is the kind of CD you want to get lost in. Radin’s distinct vocals draw you into a series of dreamy, acoustic melodies. It’s hard not to like him. No wonder actor/director
Zach Braff (a fan and friend) used his music for its emotional effect in an episode of Scrubs. His intimate singing style is perfect for punctuating touching moments, but it’s difficult to sustain interest in an entire CD of similar sounding tracks that give you the warm fuzzies.Rather than optimism, Radin opts for poignancy. The CD begins with the well-crafted, lovelorn â€šÃ„ÃºSundrenched World,” a song about insecurity. Whispered vocals float above a string orchestration that’s so lovely it could stand on its own. The lyrics are intimate and vulnerable but avoid the heart-on-your-sleeve approach of someone like James Blunt. Radin softly sings lyrics like, “I close up my mouth/When you’re around now/Suffocating in doubt.”
The bittersweet “Star Mile” is beautifully executed, painting a picture of how fame can make you lose yourself and those you love. Radin harmonizes with Priscilla Ahn who accompanies him on many of the
tracks. Stylistically, they sound a lot like Simon and Garfunkel, with their soft vocals blending nicely over acoustic guitar.
Radin covers the track, “Only You,” a song about unconditional love made famous in the 1980’s by the British duo Yaz. It’s nice, but for those familiar with original track, it doesn’t carry the same emotional
Because Radin’s voice is so distinctive, the tone of the songs is very similar throughout, which makes the CD less interesting by the end. That’s not to say it’s not enjoyable, just better listened to in smaller doses.