I stumbled upon Josh Charles on MySpace last week and was incredibly impressed with what I heard. His music is reminiscent to the Motown classics with solid, jazzy horn features and piano interludes while his soulful voice and lyrics blend well into the structure of each song. In fact, you can hear the influences of Ray Charles, James Booker and Sam Cooke in some of his songs, no doubt major inspirations to Josh himself. A review on his EPK described his music as "timeless songs that have a classic but modern sound" and I couldn't agree more.
Take his first single"Pickin' Up the Pieces" — a jazzy number that starts off with simple guitar strumming before horns come in, taking you back in time. Josh then begins singing, his voice segueing perfectly into the musical accompaniment throughout the song. Possibly the catchiest track on his EP, it's one that is sure to stay stuck in your head.
"It Ain't Easy" is a soulful ballad with musical accompaniment taking the listener back to the Motown era of the 1960s. The piano-based song is a bit slower than "Pickin' Up the Pieces," but shows Josh's versatility. Like many Motown songs from back in the day, "It Ain't Easy" seems to be the story of love lost. With his moving lyrics accentuated by his saddened vocals, "Try to keep my heart beating from night until day/Wish I could be sleeping, sleeping the pain away/Find myself pacing, all over town/I find myself facing living and dying without you around," Josh exemplifies the heartbreaking story throughout the song.
While all the tracks on his MySpace deserve a good listen, one song you should be sure to check out is "Love, Work and Money." An edgier, more fast-paced track, this song will find you tapping your feet along and getting ready to press that repeat button to listen to it all over again.
Whether you're into the slower ballads or his faster tracks, Josh Charles' music is timeless and he is someone this ever-changing music industry needs to pay more attention to. Take a listen, I think you'll dig it.
For more on Josh Charles, visit his Web site and catch a show when he's in town! He'll be playing a few in New York in the upcoming weeks so if you like him, check him out.