Friday, April 23, 2010

Artist To Check Out: Justin Nozuka


Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of meeting singer/songwriter Justin Nozuka. He came to the office where I work to perform a few songs from his sophomore album You I Wind Land and Sea (which came out on April 13, 2010). If you are into acoustic pop/rock with a soulful edge, I think you'll enjoy this album. For those not familiar with Justin, his voice is reminiscent of Robin Thicke's. When I heard You I Wind Land and Sea for the first time, I enjoyed it... but it gets better with each listen.

One aspect I appreciate is the subtle stylistic shifts throughout the album. For example, the title track has a gospel feel (in addition to a wah-wah guitar solo). "Swan in the Water" starts off quietly with light accompaniment behind Justin's heartfelt vocals, but slowly builds to a mid-tempo groove before coming full circle back to its peaceful beginning. "Woman Put Your Weapon Down" features a first-rate guitar solo by one of Justin's band members, Mark Pellizzer. He accompanied Justin during his performance at my workplace and in between songs, Justin graciously made a point to mention Mark's guitar work on this track.

Justin even has a connection to this guy! When I mentioned the connection to Justin, he smiled and asked how I knew about it. Ah, the wonders of Wikipedia! Ironically, one of the songs on You I Wind Land and Sea is titled "Soulless Man". Check out Justin's music because he is anything but soulless.

My grade for You I Wind Land and Sea: B+

Below is a clip of Justin Nozuka performing an acoustic version of "Heartless", one of my favorite tracks from You I Wind Land and Sea. The performance took place at this year's Mayercraft Songwriter Panel. You can also catch Justin on The CBS Saturday Early Show the morning of 4/24.

4 comments:

Adeline said...

this song is so effin beautiful, first time i heard it knew it would be one of my favorite songs ever. "momma, i think i did it again, i got lost in the wind again."

Amber said...

You're right on the money with the "soulful" description. I don't think there are too many popular artists out there right now who play anything that sounds kind of R&Bish on the acoustic guitar, at least I'm not familiar with them if there are. I long for the days when Babyface was a radio mainstay.

Malcolm said...

Adeline: Thanks for visiting. This is one of the songs that Justin performed when he came to our office. I felt the same way as you did the first time I heard it.

Amber: I appreciate you visiting my blog. I don't know of any other artists in the mainstream doing R&B-influenced acoustic music either. I wouldn't be surprised if we start to see this sound make a comeback.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this.
It is amazingly beautiful.
His voice gives tickles my soul.

 
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