Josh Grider ‘Luck & Desire’ – CD Review
Josh Grider has been at it for several years, and making really good music as long as I've known about him. For all his talent, uniqueness and high music I.Q., it seems as though everything has come together for Grider on his latest CD, 'Luck & Desire'.
The title track opens the CD with a slower tempo than most folks would, but 'Luck And Desire' is solid. Grider's quickly identifiable baritone voice is effortlessly laid down like a Sunday stroll. 'Luck And Desire' makes it clear that lyrics are still a priority in Josh's music, and the players on this record meet with his high standards, too.
'Anything Can Happen' picks up the pace, and displays some of the fun side to 'Luck & Desire'. I'm two songs into the new CD, and I'm starting to think that Grider may be trading off his usually eclectic sound for a more direct, country music approach.
'White Van' is already a Texas country hit (#4 and rising on the Texas Music Chart on the day the album drops). Apparently, Grider has heard enough songs about pickup trucks on the radio, and decided to take a different approach. This song is a fun, catchy party anthem about a small-time bar band trekking for new fans. This one begs to be sung back to Josh when you see him play live. Check out the lyric video here:
For all the fun in 'White Van', 'High Enough' is just the opposite. This is a beautifully written and performed, incredibly sad song of a man taking the hard route to realizing his love is lost.
Started making plans after we met
Diamond ring and a wedding gown
And a house outside of town
That all went to hell the day you left
I went off the deep end without you
Taking anyway up I could find
Trying to get you out of my mind
I hit rock bottom before I knew
That I'd never be high enough, never high enough
High enough to be over you
'On Vinyl' makes me happy, and should do the same for anyone old enough to remember when we bought our music on 12-inch, grooved vinyl discs or scooting across vinyl seats in the family vehicle. Josh sums up the entire song with the hook, "Some of my favorite memories are on vinyl". Nuff said.
'Here We Are', 'Skin and Bone' (a duet with Josh's wife, Kristi) and 'Pontiac' are all exceptional songs, any one of which could turn into your favorite as you grow to know this album.
Still as cool and clever as ever, Josh adds another dimension to his music: mass appeal. But those who have been following Josh Grider through the years will appreciate songs like 'Haymaker', 'Can't Stop' and 'One Night Taco Stand', each reminding us of the unique Grider sound that has defined his career.
Honestly, 'Luck & Desire' is one of the best country albums I've heard over the last 5 years. Every track is top quality, and it's difficult to distinguish which of the 12 songs Grider may release to radio - because they're all that good. All of them. Not just Texas charts good, but this album may be what country music fans across America are begging for.
I remember listening to a Josh Grider's 'JG3' EP several years ago, and asking myself "is this country, rock, Americana, jazz or something else?". All I really knew is that I loved it. Old tunes like 'Dollar Tree' and 'Rock and Roll' are terrific, but that lack of ability to define Grider's style may have impeded the success of his early stuff. With 'Luck & Desire', I doubt Josh will have any problem being identified as a country music artist - and a damn good one, while maintaining his own identity.
Those who watch the TV documentary 'Troubadour, TX' have seen Josh Grider featured as one of the artists who is "chasing the dream" as opposed to "living the dream". After this album, Grider may need to be re-cast as the latter, because 'Luck & Desire' has everything he needs to reach a new level of success where he can stop chasing and start living. Take a listen to a filet of Josh Grider's 'Luck & Desire' here: