02 July 2007

Joshua Kadison

One of my all-time favorite records is Joshua Kadison's Painted Desert Serenade, released clear back in 1993. The first single from that record, "Beautiful in My Eyes," caught my attention the first time I heard it. Initially, I was sure it had to be an Elton John song, as it has that sound and quality to it (as do several of Joshua Kadison's other songs). Once I got that straightened out, and got my hands on the record, I fell in love with the entire thing. It's just a great bunch of songs, well-crafted from start to finish. Over the years, I've enjoyed going back to it and listening to it, time and time again. I'd recommend it highly to anyone.

Joshua Kadison's sophomore effort, Delilah Blue, in 2005, was something of a surprise and a disappointment to many of his fans (myself included). There were a few fine songs on it, but overall it was pretty weird, and really had such a different sound and feel to it altogether. It never did grow on me or appeal to me, and, consequently, I mentally checked Joshua Kadison off my list of artists to watch for.

Well, I recently discovered that he released a record in 2001, and I gathered that it might be a return to the form of his first outing. Somewhat ironically, although it is entitled Vanishing America, it has not been relased in the United States. Maybe that's supposed to be some kind of poetic justice, I don't know. But when I read descriptions of Vanishing America suggesting that it was a genuine follow-up to Painted Desert Serenade, I had to check it out. I'm happy to say that I've not been disappointed this time around, not at all.

We were listening to Vanishing America in the van today, and I was struck by how much I have come to enjoy it. I wasn't instantly blown away by it the first time I heard it, but I've liked it better and better with each listen. If this record had appeared in 1995, we'd have heard a lot more from and about Joshua Kadison than we have since the disappointing Delilah Blue. It's a shame that it hasn't been released in this country, but it's worth ordering as an import. I got a good used copy, at a reasonable price, via Amazon. Others might also want to check it out.

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