Well, Josh Woodward has done it again and put out a great new album, Breadcrumbs
. Breadcrumbs has something for everyone on every end of the musical spectrum, from hard rock to really soft guitar work, with some songs building up from one end of the spectrum to the other (Private Hurricane comes to mind immediately, and is what I'm listening to as I write this).
Josh's music runs the range in general, as well - from folk/country, to poppy, to hard rock. His lyrics are equally varied - he's an excellent lyricist. I figured that I wouldn't review this album until I'd listened to it all the way through about 10 times, because the music grows on you and you notice things that you hadn't noticed before. I'm just about there, so here goes :)
As most of my readers know, I'm really heavily into the free software community, and that's more recently been extended into free culture. This brings me to the next great point - all of this music is free (as in both beer and speech), and Josh has licensed Breadcrumbs (and relicensed all of his previous work) under CC-BY (Creative Commons Attribution, meaning basically that you can use the music for anything you like, you simply have to give him credit - in the free software world, a "permissive" license - such as BSD). This is a change from his previous license of CC-BY-SA, which meant that any work that was derived from his music had to be shared under the same license (in the free software world, we call this a "strong copyleft" license -the most well known example being the GNU GPL). From his website on the relicensing:
Want to use and abuse my tunes?
Go nuts! You're welcome to use my music, free of charge for your projects. This includes movies, ads, podcasts, YouTube videos, karaoke, background music for your grandma's 90th birthday celebration, anything. There's no problem using them for commercial purposes. You can use them as is - instrumental or regular, or you can hack them apart to use in your songs or projects.
What's the catch? Just one: you need to provide attribution. A simple mention of my name and the song title in the credits, with a bonus if you give my website URL. If for some reason this isn't practical, it's possible to arrange a paid license for my music through Jamendo.
If you do use my music, I'd love to hear about it! Drop me a line so I can take a look. It's always fun to see.
I've read another review of the album on another blog, and I had never thought of this before, but it's so accurate that I don't know why not. A WONDERFUL entry point into the world of Josh's music is his album Crawford Street
. It is quite possibly one of the best albums ever made by a human :). It contains songs on absolutely every topic imaginable. I'll include brief comments on each of the songs in the list below. I feel that I'm obligated to list the songs on Crawford Street in the order of my liking of them, however, such a listing doesn't do justice to the songs on either of these albums, in fact, on Breadcrumbs, the numberings for pretty much everything beyond the top 4 should be 5. A lower "score" does not indicate that I didn't like the song, simply thatI liked some better than others - but EVERYTHING is great and deserving of a great review!
2) The Spirit World
- an excellent song about religious fundamentalism and tolerance at the same time
- a great little tune about the lack of progress in small towns in America
4) Hey Ruth
- a song about overhearing domestic violence and falling in love with the battered woman.
7) Shower Scene
- an actor is dissatisfied with the way that his career has progressed to this point, and is yearning for something better
8) Twelve Monkeys
- a beautiful song about animal rights, from the perspective of monkeys in a zoo.
11) Thanks for Coming
- the American dream being won for one person and lost for another, catching up at a reunion
- a ballad of a couple in old age
14) Waiting Takes Time
- a song about ending a long standing relationship
But don't let the preceding review of Crawford Street diminish this album whatsoever, it's just as good if not better. Here's the same list of the 11 songs on that album:
2) Border Blaster
- a WONDERFUL song about immigration - not pretentious, and not preachy, but gets the point across very well
- a great tune about becoming irrelevant
- reflections on the past and what could have been
9) Stars Collide
- a song about withheld emotion in a relationship
10) The Voices
- a great tune about hearing voices in your head
11) Once Tomorrow
- a song about getting older and life passing you by with the demands of day-to-day life
Both albums are absolutely incredible pieces of work, and the world is a greater place for having these albums released in to the greater commons rather than locked up behind a major record label that criminalizes the sharing of music.
If you like these albums, though, I'd strongly encourage you to buy
them! Josh offers both physical CD's and FLAC downloads, whichever you'd prefer.