Joshua Radin, "The Rock and the Tide

69 Billboard Rating

Joshua Radin goes for a certain irony on his third album, "The Rock and the Tide," ending the set with a reprise of "Brand New Day," the cheeriest track from 2008's "Simple Times." His declaration that "I'll be OK" feels like a comfortable affirmation that comes on the tail of a dozen emotionally hopscotching tracks. The material ranges from quiet, heart-rending paeans like "Think I'll Go Inside" and the slightly Celtic-flavored "Wanted" to the Bob Dylan-esque diatribe "You're Not as Young." And there are some moments of ebullience in "We Are Only Getting Better" and the soulful "You Got What I Need." The set also demonstrates how Radin has become more comfortable with the rock side of things. Producer Martin Terefe helps guide him through the rockabilly-styled "Nowhere to Go," the garagey three-chord slam of "The Ones With the Light" and the aggressively rhythmic title cut. "Simple Times" may have benefited from sympathetic guest vocalists Meiko and Erin McCarley, but "The Rock and the Tide" is all Radin in some of his most carefully nuanced and confident vocal performances yet.

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