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Redemption
     

Redemption

by Josh Gracin
 
With Redemption, contemporary country singer/songwriter (and former American Idol contestant) Josh Gracin goes further than most when it comes to breaking the content barrier: the album contains a whopping 17 tracks. Gracin wrote or co-wrote all but one song here. He co-produced the record with his drummer, Kevin Murphy, and

Overview

With Redemption, contemporary country singer/songwriter (and former American Idol contestant) Josh Gracin goes further than most when it comes to breaking the content barrier: the album contains a whopping 17 tracks. Gracin wrote or co-wrote all but one song here. He co-produced the record with his drummer, Kevin Murphy, and used his road band in the studio. This proves problematic in the end. Gracin kicks things off with a hard-rocking wall of highly compressed metallic guitars -- and the requisite banjo -- on "Different Kind of Crazy." Its lyrics are disturbing for their dangerpously unconscious misogyny. The protagonist accuses/brags on his "left-of-center baby" to the listener by saying: "There ain't nothing you haven't done, she ain't tried" and "I know that ain't the way my mama raised me." Alas, the madonna/whore complex is alive and well, tied inexorably to conservative ("right") political and religious stances -- apparently Gracin's "hero" was seduced by these charms (and his rebellion toward his mama?) and has no choice but to love her. The real question becomes as to whether she's his baby as he claims or he's hers? Musically, the rest of this -- and there's a lot -- is familiar contemporary country fare. The single "Long Way to Go" is a good choice; it's a love song with a shimmering B-3, acoustic guitars, Dobros, and big-sounding drums, with a chorus meant to grab listeners and not let go -- this track also gets a remix geared at the honky tonk's dancefloor. "Only When It Rains" is a duet with fellow Michigan native Shelagh Brown, who won the right to sing with Gracin via a competition (perhaps he knows how Simon Cowell feels after all), and is easily one of the best tunes here, an open, aching, honest love song. "Catastrophe" is a another rock & roller, and cops the riff from Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" in its verses. The power ballads, such as "Enough," with its baroque strings, work very well, as does "Let You Go," which pits stinging electric guitars against them. The bluesy "I Want to Make You Cry" has an R&B tinge that could potentially cross over. Lyrics aside, there isn't much wrong with Gracin's formula; though at over an hour in length, it could have been much shorter and tighter. Ultimately, Gracin is betting a lot on Redemption; each self-penned song reaches for a certain niche in the contemporary country genre, trying to cover all the bases programmers desire. A more judicious, forceful co-producer would have tempered that overreaching impulse. While the album will delight his fans, whether this kitchen-sink approach results in garnering new ones is indeed a gamble.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/08/2011
Label:
Average Joe's Ent.
UPC:
0661869002323
catalogNumber:
232

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Josh Gracin   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals
Russ Pahl   Pedal Steel Guitar,Doblajes
Jonathan Yudkin   Banjo,Strings
Shane Kiester   Keyboards
Seth Timbs   Keyboards
Tom Bukovac   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Ben Phillips   Drums
Mark Hill   Bass
Ilya Toshinsky   Acoustic Guitar
Tony Lucido   Bass
Keith Thomas   Keyboards
Adam Shoenfeld   Electric Guitar
Travis Toy   Banjo,Pedal Steel Guitar
Ethan Pilser   Bass
Jonathan Crone   Acoustic Guitar
Claire Indie   Cello
Kevin Murphy   Percussion,Drums
Tripper Ryder   Bass,Background Vocals
Will Doughty   Keyboards
Rich Redmond   Percussion
Mike Meadows   Acoustic Guitar
Loren Ellis   Acoustic Guitar
Devin Malone   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Jeff Smith   Background Vocals
Danny Rader   Electric Guitar
Hubert Payne   Drums
Holli Poole   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Jonathan Yudkin   String Arrangements
Shannon Houchins   Executive Producer
John Mayer   Composer
Shauna   Producer
Ruben Studdard   Composer
Josh Gracin   Composer,Producer
Keith Thomas   Programming,Producer,Remixing
Aaron Chmielewski   Engineer
Jonathan Crone   Engineer
Brad Tursi   Composer
Kevin Murphy   Composer,Producer
Loren Ellis   Composer
Laboris Louden   Art Direction,Layout
Shaun Balin   Composer
Seana Arrechaga   Composer
Andrew Parvin   Management

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