The Rock and The Tide is the third album released by singer/songwriter Joshua Radin. While his previous two albums featured the quiet, soft-spoken tracks Radin is known for, The Rock and The Tide attempts to depart from this image and establish itself with a more upbeat sound.
Radin didn’t always plan on being a singer. He attended Northwestern University, and it wasn’t until he wrote a song called “Winter” for his good friend and actor Zach Braff, that his career in music began. His first album was released in 2007, and Braff insisted they use Radin’s material on his TV show Scrubs.
I’ve been a Radin fan since the beginning, and I owe that to Braff. Besides his well-known role as J.D. on Scrubs, Braff is also known for producing the Grammy award- winning Garden State soundtrack. When Radin first started out, Braff posted about him on his Myspace. Since then, Radin’s music has been in television shows like Grey’s Anatomy, House, and Brothers and Sisters, and on soundtracks for movies like Catch and Release, The Nanny Diaries and The Last Kiss (a soundtrack also produced by Braff).
Most classify Radin’s music as indie or folk, while Itunes defines him as a singer/songwriter. Radin’s quiet, gentle style distinguish him from other artists in his genre. Critics describe him as a modern-day Simon and Garfunkel.
After two albums of what many describe as “whisper rock,” The Rock and The Tide wanders from what Radin fans are used to. This is something we all know that he needed to experiment with. Radin is known for his soothing music, but it’s nice to see tracks with more pep to them because it shows his range.
Some of Radin’s best tracks have been the ones where he pushed the envelope of the “whisper rock.” “Sky,” a duet on his second album Simple Times, is a track that does so perfectly. In fact, there are several tracks on Simple Times that this applies to. It only makes sense that with each successive album Radin would try to reinvent himself a little bit. But the upbeat tracks in The Rock and the Tide lack what those on the album before it had. The first tracks of the album are upbeat, but as the album progresses; the final few revert to the style of old-school Radin. The album is less cohesive than it’s predecessor, Simple Times.
The best songs on the album are the tracks that resemble Radin’s traditional sound, including “We Are Only Getting Better,” “You Got What I Need” and “Leap.” Of course, the album’s single, “Streetlight” is also a must-have.
While it isn’t as great as the two albums before it, The Rock and The Tide is still one worth owning. Listen to Radin’s music while curling up on the couch, writing a term paper, or driving with the windows down, and his distinctive whispers and meaningful lyrics will have you smiling as you melt over the work of a talented musician and hopeless romantic.