Friday, November 13, 2009

REVIEW: Josh Nielsen - 99E

Josh Nielsen, of Portland, OR, began writing music at age 12. Now, years later, he has released his first album, 99E. Josh's songs are obviously very close to his heart and you can tell because his songs glow with authenticity. Taking a laid-back, folky approach to composition with a delicate mix of grunge influence thrown in, 99E seems to be more of a complete story rather than a just collection of songs.

The album starts off with Don't Expect Me, a folky song reminiscent of Jack Johnson's style - even though the first line clearly states that it is Johnson impersonating Josh Nielsen. Acoustically driven, like much of the album, this track sets up the listener to wonder what could possibly be next and sets Josh apart from the status quo.

A track that sticks out as a winner, Your Life has hints of jam band influence mixed quite well with vocal harmonies that sound like they are straight out of the 90s grunge area. Think Scott Weiland meets Christopher Thorn.

Suchandsuch has a catchy title and tune. Once again acoustically driven song with a little reggae back beat mixed in, Nielsen seems to be painting a picture of getting over a intense separation.

If you want to get to know Josh Nielsen, take a listen to 99E. He's managed to poetically and gracefully capture the feelings of love, heartbreak and independence while mostly avoiding any real cliches.

3 out of 5 stars

You can learn more about Josh Nielsen at

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