Recording information: Atomic Halo; Bandhouse Studios; Decibel Studios, Stockholm; Kinglet Studios; X-Level Studios, Stockholm; Zeitgeist Studio, Los Angeles, CA.
In a sense, the title Onward & Sideways indicates what Joshua Radin is up to on his sixth album. He isn't standing still, but he isn't breaking forward: he's settling into the mellow, stripped-down groove that's been his specialty since he slid away from the majors and into the indie leagues. Radin is now creating exquisitely sculpted miniatures where melody is paramount, a slight shift from his earlier records where mood reigned and Elliott Smith was the primary touchstone. Remnants of that sad introspection remain but Onward & Sideways is a record where a Sheryl Crow cameo (on "Beautiful Day") makes as much sense as the muted Mumford & Sons stomp of "Belong." Both indicate that Radin knows where his audience now lies; that they're comfortable and settled but not necessarily complacent. He's growing with them and he's happy turning out sweet, cozy little tunes that feel like an urbane Jack Johnson. Radin isn't showy on Onward & Sideways but that's the appeal: he's relaxing into his soft singer/songwriter sound and enjoying what he finds. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine