CD REVIEW: Joshua James "Build Me This"

This is the album that will put Joshua James on everyone's map. He gained critical acclaim with his last album, however, on this one he really shows off the kind of musician he really is. On the heels of the success of artists like My Morning Jacket, Conor Oberst, and M. Ward (and now their supergroup, Monsters Of Folk), Joshua James proves that he can rub shoulders with any established Midwest folkie. Some of the better songs on the album are "Coal War" and "Magazine" where he combines his ability to write a pop song with his rootsy flavor. This album is rooted in gospel and good old small town folk music. Probably the best song on the disc is "In The Middle" where James shows off his songwriting skills as a storyteller, with a song spoken to a lost love who has passed on. Its got energy in all the right places, yet remains quaint and grounded as well. Joshua James surely is one of this generation's greatest folk singers and his latest effort is proof of that.