From what I've found, most people - including myself - came to singer-songwriter Joshua Radin having heard a number of his songs on Scrubs. His whispery, slightly haunting, yet warming music from his earlier album, We Were Here, isn't to everyone's liking, but I took to it instantly. I was eager enough about Simple Times that I ordered it from across the pond.
Simple Times takes the quiet, acoustic, hands-on-hips-at-the-wedding We Were Here - too quiet and too acoustic for some tastes - and gives it a playful wink, a little extra something that ups the pace and activity by a tiny fraction.
Radin clearly enjoyed crafting this album, creating something that's just a little more active and upbeat than We Were Here, with slightly poppy 'Vegetable Car', 'Sky' and 'Free Of Me' just a couple of such tracks.
But don't be worried that Radin is merely pandering to a wider audience. The music that you'll have fallen in love with from Scrubs is still here in abundance. The guitar-work in 'I'd Rather Be With You' is some of his best, the lyrics still work more like poetry than anything, while Radin's familiar, gentle voice has developed slightly, becoming more confident across the entire album. Track five, 'Brand New Day', is a combination of everything that makes Radin so likeable.
In fact, the whole album feels far more finished, far more confident in its approach. It's not the most original of albums, granted, but it's more grown up, more polished, and if you liked We Were Here, you'll love Simple Times. And for those who have never heard of the guy, just think of a softer, quieter, calmer Jack Johnson and you wouldn't be far off.