‘Onward and Sideways’ album review
By Cheryl Minns, Arts Editor
Joshua Radin is back with his sixth studio album, featuring a series of love songs written to win over a reluctant love interest. Onward and Sideways, released January 6, was written by Radin while lying sideways across a bed in a Stockholm hotel room, having travelled to Sweden for a break from music.
“I had met this woman six years ago and we were friends for the last five, but we started dating a year ago. At first it was long distance—she was living in Stockholm and I was living in Los Angeles—and she was very wary of getting involved. Essentially I wrote this album to convince her to fall in love with me,” Radin explained in a press release from Wax Records.
Onward and Sideways is filled with upbeat songs that will make listeners smile—especially “Belong,” which is sure to get listeners’ tapping their feet to the beat—as well as slower songs like “One and Only” that are perfect to listen to at the end of a busy day.
The fifth track on the album, “In Your Hands,” features the line, “Two days since Auld Lang Syne,” which gives the album a timely feel with its release shortly after New Year’s Day. It’s followed by a line that many people who make New Year’s resolutions can relate to, “You don’t like the shape you’re in.”
The first single from Onward and Sideways, “Beautiful Day,” is a remake with Sheryl Crow of Radin’s song from Wax Wings in 2013. The song matches the album’s sound and fits well as the third track. While the original version would have sufficed, turning the song into a duet helps drive home the idea that the album is about a relationship between two people, emphasized by the “beautiful day” they have.
Onward and Sideways is currently in the Top 20 bestselling albums on iTunes this week, with “Beautiful Day,” “Belong,” and “We’ll Keep Running Forever” as the bestselling tracks from the album.
Radin will be touring across Canada in February, performing at the Rio Theatre in Vancouver on February 27.