Singer-songwriter doesn’t make any waves
Joshua Radin’s latest, The Rock and The Tide, is a 13-part ode to starting fresh—though, unfortunately, this theme is hardly apparent in the music itself. The album is bookended by up-tempo tracks about setting your sights on something new (opener “Road to Ride On”) and being content once you’ve moved “past your past” (concluding “Brand New Day”). The idea of renewal is brought up over and over again, interrupted occasionally by straightforward love songs that range from the simple but sultry “You Got What I Need” to “Think I’ll Go Inside” and “Wanted,” pitiable accounts of missing a lost love. Radin plugs in for a few tracks, and even though this provides a respite from the sparse, acoustic strums that accompany most songs, it sounds too contrived to be enjoyable. The Rock and The Tide is all about being caught in between—moving forward or looking back; traditional acoustic fare or a rock ‘n’ roll edge—and the result is a middling, generic album that lacks the strength of any of the extremes it attempts to bridge.