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Joshua Path
Headlight In The Sun
Vanalden Records
June 2007

With Headlight in the Sun, Joshua Path veers dangerously close to the kind of prefab pop rock that floods forth from WB teenie soaps. Close enough to enjoy both mainstream radioplay while remaining intelligent enough to garner some college rock radio hype.

The album took three years to emerge and unfortunately the extended gestation period has left the disc purged of immediacy. Despite a vague aura of distance throughout, Path proves himself a talented songsmith, easily straddling genres and diverse tonal shifts (from the Elliot Smithian whisper-folk depths of “Spider of Love” to the drug-dirge blues of “Devil At My Door”). But Headlight in the Sun never manages to sustain a meaningful story arc or fully mine the thematic depths skimmed on many of the disc’s 15 tracks.

Path starts out strong with the grunge-lite melodies of “Sleep In Your Sunshine” and the stunning title track opener (in which Path attacks whorish musicians devoid of originality or really, any differentiating features, hence the stellar couplet, “Everybody said you’d be the one/ But you shine as brightly as a headlight in the sun.”)

The all too short acoustic-based ditty, “Thief” and the lo-fi spectre-soul of “All I” provide some mellow highlights, while “Records In My Mind” and “It Was Over Before It Began” suggest Path could rightfully inherit the void left behind from power pop groups like the La’s and the Flamin’ Groovies. And by the time Path croons about “methadone and the morning chill” on the album’s closing track (“Heroin Will Bring Us Back Together Again”), you can’t help but hope he’ll follow up with a more concentrated effort in the near future.

Favorite Track: “Headlight in the Sun”

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Christopher j Ewing is a writer and filmmaker living in San Francisco with a girl and a designer dog (Chihuahua vs. dachshund). He is in a band by himself and has a myspace account ( and a production company ( for freelance film and crit/journo work.

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