Warning: this album is not for the productive at heart.
Singer-songwriter Joshua Radin’s fourth album, Underwater, is full of a lot of things, but energy is not one of them. From someone prone to reviewing high-energy stuff, though, this is a nice change of pace.
“Let the rain fall,” he says. “Tomorrow is gonna be better,” he says. “Time passes slow,” he says. “I’ll save it for another day,” he says.
Makes you want to charge out the door and conquer the world, huh?
If not, that’s okay. Because we all have those days where sleeping sounds better than anything else, or maybe stuff just sucks. Don’t fear, there’s a Radin for that. Underwater is really a step back towards material from the earlier Radin catalog — see “One of Those Days” from 2008’s Simple Times — but it’s still perfect folkish melancholia à la Ryan Adams.
Underwater, whose title track was actually written underwater, makes heavy use of the strings section and light use of percussion; if it’s there at all, it’s muted by brushes. Radin’s voice is powerful on account of its silkiness and conviction alike, and it shines within this dynamic.
It’s the sonic equivalent of those three extra hours you stayed in bed half asleep, and there’s sure to be relatable material for any listener. It’s a pretty collection from an increasingly accomplished artist, and it’s guaranteed to strike just the right chord at times.
(1) Tomorrow Is Gonna Be Better
(2) Anywhere Your Love Goes
(9) One More