Artist:  Josh Wilson
Title:  Trying to Fit the Ocean in a Cup
Label:  Sparrow Records

Surprising, great pop debut …

Josh Wilson’s lucky or talented, but the latter is more likely the case. After all, he bit off what initially seems to be more than he can handle on his Sparrow debut, Trying to Fit the Ocean in a Cup. The acoustic pop pool he chose to wade into is already overcrowded and, on the surface, his songs conjure thoughts of “more of the same.”

But four minutes later, you’re still listening. Not only that, you’re completely drawn in. Wilson croons, charms, inspires and moves his way into your heart via the ear that quickly. “3 Minute Song” slightly jabs the radio industry, as Wilson struggles to define himself “if all I’ve got’s a three minute song.” Next, the quasi-spiritual love song, “Turn Around,” rides with its quirky windows down and a slight country tinge.

Trying effortlessly moves from light-hearted territory to heavier fare, especially on the perfectly timed “Something’s Got to Change.” The piano-driven song drones with a spirit opposite the buoyant earlier tracks, but Wilson commandeers his way impressively. The same can largely be said of closer “Beautiful Like This.”

So instead of being overwhelmed, Josh Wilson debuts as the “new guy” that makes everyone else jealous for his grand entrance.



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**This review first published on May 19, 2008.