American singer/songwriter Joshua Radin's second album Simple Times definitely lives up to its title--it's warm blend of soft guitar strings and vocals sure is "simple" but original this is not. Gentle melodies and fluffy chorus' is nothing new, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz and possibly even John Mayer have all done it before.
However, even without originality Simple Times isn't a bad album. There's a handful of good songs on here. Mellow opener "One of Those Days," sounds nice; softly blending breathy vocals, twingy guitar strings and light piano keys. Radio friendly lead single "I'd Rather Be with You," is nice too embracing a warm pop melody. "Sky" kicks up the tempo a bit, although still pretty subtle, same with the more heavily piano-backed "Brand New Day." I also like the folksy "We Are Okay."
A lot of the album is the same old same old. As a whole just blends together, making it a first-choise for background music on a Sunday afternoon. This probably too calm for my liking and it's not like Radin has the lyrics to make up for it, however I'm sure this could grow on me (a lot of Jack Johnson's album took a couple listens before I was sold) so my ratings pretty generous.
Best: I'd Rather Be with You, One of Those Days, We Are Okay, Brand New Day