In the vein of Frank Ocean and classic R&B, Jazz and even Blues, Joshua Worden’s “Always This” is an album that satisfies in a smoky cocktail lounge as well as it does for someone in need of serious thought.
Downright mellow tunes accompany the sexy vocals and make the album a perfect companion for a romantic night or an unforgettable one night stand.
Worden’s voice can best be described as a sad, but serious Adam Levine with a tint of early ’90s R&B. A classically-trained jazz musician, the song have jazz sensibilities, but will easily cater to pop fans in the mood for something deeper and mellowed. Tucked into every song, whether it be a nifty guitar or piano solo, some synth or even hand-claps, the songs have the type of musical depth Levine and other pop stars could only imagine.
Recorded in his home studio, you don’t expect much at first, but the sound fidelity is amazing. If this guy was signed to a major label and had the best in the world producing his work, he’d be a leading voice in this current resurgence in “slow burn” soul. Void of trickery and tools, Worden’s vocal and musical abilities are presented in such an open-hearted way that it’s almost impossible to not respect the polish on the album.
Deserving multiple listens, every song on the album has this almost “toy at the bottom” feel. Even after a few go-rounds, you’ll find something new.
In “Like a Rose,” Worden uses the piano and stereotypical R&B beats and fuses it with some electronica and catchy, yet poetic lyrics to make one of the cooler entries on the album. The guitar solo on “The Turning Quiet,” mixes in beautifully with the background vocals and electronic mixing, creating the type of song that goes down as easy as a glass of lemonade on a warm summer day. Like a wonderful piece of classical music, it’s great for pondering your thoughts. It seems to just fade into your existence, almost merging itself with the moment. It could easily find itself on a television show or film. It has that type of appeal.
In a day where albums don’t have the same mainstream appeal as singles, Worden creates an adventure that ultimately can take three minutes or longer, depending on your hunkering for it. It’s the type of stuff that never makes itself a burden. If it was on in an elevator, you’d leave tapping your feet. Soft and warm, it’ll almost attach itself to you.