Thursday, September 14, 2006

I don't pretend to be pretty

Josh Hoge is a singer from Nashville, Tennessee, currently trying to break into the American music scene. His debut single, "360," was sent out to radios several weeks ago but, given the slow rate at which singles move up the charts in the U.S., it'll probably be a few months before we can judge whether he'll be successful. He's duetted with Cheyenne Kimball and Nikki Flores, as well as toured with Ryan Cabrera and Aly & AJ, which should give you an idea of the audience he's targeting; given his sound, though, that surprises me, because he doesn't sound like any of those artists. I'd classify his music as pop, but Josh puts a pretty heavy emphasis on his R&B roots, which do peek through on many of his songs, but he also has some other influence, too--maybe soul?. I haven't heard enough of his music to ultimately judge how good his upcoming album, to be released this December, will probably be, and I'm skeptical about what he's like personally, but, in terms of music, he's come up with some decent songs so far.

360--oddly, I could see this song being adapted into something for a singer like Ne-Yo, but it really doesn't sound anything like a Ne-Yo song (it's not nearly as shiny and slick)--it just has a melody that I could see sliding over into that particular genre of R&B. As is, though, it's a pretty, laid-back track sung to a girl who's broken up with Josh ("what goes around, comes around"--hence, "360"). Josh's vocals have a little bit of a rough edge and he doesn't sound like he would be out of his league with a country-influenced song, though there's no twang here. I can't think of anyone else in mainstream U.S. pop who really has a voice like him; whether that will hinder him or help him stand out, I'm not sure, but his voice works for this song, preventing it from totally being just another generic, sort of pretty ballad.

Work That Body--a funkier song, though Josh, going into the higher end of his range now, still sings without a lot of energy; that's not a criticism, but just a fact and reflection of his style (though it does make me wonder how he's going to do a "driving dance floor track," as his official website describes another song on his album). It picks up some pace in the chorus, where Josh describes oggling a girl. Sort of a slinky song, actually.

Take It Or Leave It--as much as Josh apparently likes to eschew influences from country-dominated Nashville (he "does not ascribe to the city's time-honored twang"), there's no way you can ignore the country influence on this song, although that might be more from the instruments than Josh's voice. It might be the fastest of Josh's songs that I've heard, though it's still not exactly dance-floor fodder. The audio quality's not as good as on the other songs.

Undone--Josh throws in some strings, which (along with some layered vocals) give the song a nice bigger sound, and returns to some high-pitched singing. It's still sort of a slow song, but the strings push the pace at least a little bit, and the middle 8 (the effects of which reappear near the song's end) has a mildly pushing-ahead feeling.

You have to be in the right sort of mood to listen to Josh's songs--they're not exactly energy-boosters--but they're a decent opening set of tunes. If you live in the U.S., you can buy his single "360" here (digital) or on iTunes.

Next up: I can guarantee there will be no posts about you-know-who for the next three days. How? I'll be gone for the next three days. This is the time of year where I start going off to competition-ish things on the weekends, so, sadly, most Saturdays I won't be able to post, and any given Friday and Sunday, there's a very good chance I won't be able to, either. When I get back, though, I have a lot of things planned--Jesse McCartney's new album should be arriving some time next week, as well as a single which will finally let me get started on that four-day special about a certain boyband; we'll also be seeing a Canadian duo, some more nostalgia picks, and the beginning of that "versus" feature I mentioned a long time ago in the near future. Have a great weekend, everyone!

7 comments:

J'ason D'luv said...

Christ, if I keep coming to this site, I'm gonna go boy crazy, you little minx! That guy's H-O-T! Thanks for posting his trashy tunes... gonna download now.

And I replied to your Beyonce comments ;)

Paul said...

i'll wrestle you for him D'Luv!

its gonna be a long weekend without you PPG :) sniff...

J'ason D'luv said...

Ooh, wrestling with Paul... suddenly we go from laughter and tussling to that longing frozen stare into each other's eyes... then... oh god, stop, stop! It's all that Pinkie's fault, all this naughy inter-blogger flirtation going on this week. I think I need a cold shower!

Paul said...

J'ason!

*blushes*

Paul said...

oh boo hoo i can't cope without you much longer! off to see mcfly in a little bit unless someone from my work is reading this in which case my tummy hurts :(

J'ason D'luv said...

Poster Babe, where are you? This random posting every few days or so just won't do. Get on it, sister! We want more boys who make us feel things we shouldn't downtown...

Poster Girl said...

Gone for a weekend and look what you all get up to! ;) I'm going to need to hire a moderator at this rate...of course, if things get too hot, I can just post some Westlife and it'll cool down pretty fast around here :)

No promises on the boys front, but I'll see what I can come up with :)

Can't wait to hear about McFly (I'm practically oozing jealousy...yuck)!