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Joshua English | Trouble None | review | alternative | Lollipop

Joshua English

Trouble None (Welcome Home)
by Tim Den

Joshua English fronted the underrated, sinewy Boston indie trio Six Going On Seven from the mid-'90s to 2001, laying down three albums' worth of genre-defying pop that was as much Slint as it was The Police and Elvis Costello and The Attractions. But by the time the band released their swansong, American't (or Won't), they were showing signs of abandoning grit and going completely pop, a move that must've been English's decision, if Trouble None is of any indication. Yes, old fans will be disappointed to find that English has finally totally crossed over into singer/songwriter mode, not a trace of his former raspy barking self in sight. Which means that, if you didn't like American't (or Won't), chances are you're not gonna like Trouble None. However, if, like me, you aren't caged in by the past and can appreciate good songwriting when it's tugging at your ears, Trouble None surely satisfies. English's lyrical, literate phrasing has never sounded more Costello-like, comforting and biting and philosophical and comical all at the same time. He plays with melody lines, insinuates hooks, turning phrases on their heads, all the while retaining the familiarity of pop song structure. Is it easy to listen to? Sure, but don't confuse it with Snow Patrol or Coldplay. Trouble None is deceptively digestible. Delve a little bit into it, and you'll discover its headiness.

Though it's unclear whether or not he's still fronting Attractive (the indie quartet featuring ex-Snapcase members), Joshua English obviously hasn't been sleeping away the years. Trouble None is a welcomed return of a stellar songwriter and deserves checking out.


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