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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Progress, 17 Nov 2012
By 
Glenn "Omaha" (Devon England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
James' 2009 album 'Build Me This' was adversely affected by what I felt was a wispy vocal and songs that couldn't sustain the strength of excellent album opener 'Coal War', but I had an instinct that this album and that song suggested the promise of a stronger musician.

Joshua James' latest 'From the Top of Willamette Mountain' delivers that promise with a mature and melodic development. The maturity is, for me, in the vocal where sounding a little like Ray LaMontagne is sustained across the whole album. Not a wisp within hearing distance. This does matter and provides the vocal depth the tunes and lyrics deserve. There is also more expansiveness in the overall production provided by Richard Swift that includes some lush harmonies, not dissimilar to his own work as a recording artist.

First track 'Mystic' is a good example where a simple but effective song gains resonance through a rousing chorus, especially as it rises out of the slow deliberation of the song's main melody. Second 'Queen of the City' provides a quick contrast with its rockier rhythms and some tight harmonising on the main vocal. Fourth 'Doctor, Oh Doctor', although layered with echoing guitar, has James' vocal to the fore in folk mode, narrating as a main focus. Fifth 'So Do I' begins with rather jaunty handclap rhythms, but this grows into a sweet crescendo of harmony singing, echoing guitars again layered within the mix. The title track is the sixth song and returns to that folk mode with fleeting moments sounding like Simon and Garfunkel's 'The Boxer'. Seventh 'Ghost in the Town' sustains this mature progress with another simply written song that is shaped to sonic effect by tight harmonies and more Lanoisesque guitarscapes.

There are eleven tracks in all and it is pleasing throughout. It will be interesting to continue following this thoughtful singer-songwriter's progress, especially if he replicates that made between this and his previous album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb album. superb talent., 27 Dec 2013
This fella is superb. His voice just grows on you. I had the pleasure of seeing him live recently and he sounded even better. Each song is brilliantly written and beautifully sung. Get this album .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic sound!, 15 Nov 2013
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This review is from: From The Top Of Willamette Mountain [VINYL] (Vinyl)
This is the best sounding vinyl I ever bought. The soundscape is totally Amazing and it feels like the musicians are standing there right in front of you as you listen. The vinyl is dead quiet and my cartridge tracks even the inner grooves with perfection.
Oh, and the music is just stunning...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Uprising star, 9 May 2014
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Found out by mistake that this Albumn existed. Prdered it from Amazon amd got it quicker than stated . It was in my cd player in seconds after delivery . Joshua james blows you away with fantastic lyrics,uplifting tunes and a fantastic voice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The American singer-songwriter's endearing third album, 7 Jan 2014
Willamette Mountain is Indie-Folk/singer-songwriter Joshua James' farmhouse in Utah, named after a purely fictional mountain whose name was in turn inspired by the Willamette Valley of Oregon, where he recorded From The Top Of Willamette Mountain. Whether it was intentional or not, naming a mountain after a valley was entirely appropriate in a metaphorical sense considering the album's lyrics, which deal with life's ups and downs; love and loss, life and death. Produced by The Shins' Richard Swift, From The Top Of Willamette Mountain is the greatest contemporary Folk album since Ray LaMontagne's Trouble.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The power of radio, 4 July 2013
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Bought this on the strength of one track and surprisingly like quite a few. It is nice to take a chance sometimes.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite album of the year., 20 Jan 2013
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A. Fox "disconsolate" (UK) - See all my reviews
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Came across Joshua by chance and haven't stopped listening since. Looks good and has a great blog. The video of the single is great and slightly disturbing. The band look perfect and Joshua has the moves and attitude of Iggy if Iggy were country. Buy this record.
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From The Top Of Willamette Mountain [VINYL]
From The Top Of Willamette Mountain [VINYL] by Joshua James (Vinyl - 2012)
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