Sounds like … singer/songwriter fueled pop/rock that's a mix of Jason Mraz, Josh Kelley, John Mayer, Gavin DeGraw, and Augustana

At a glance … superb songwriting and varied textures combine to make Josh Wilson's debut memorable.

As society's collective attention span grows shorter and shorter in our technology-driven, Facebook world, it's become increasingly imperative for musicians to make a strong first impression. That's no longer just for the sake of garnering radio airplay either—it's essential to an up-and-coming artist's livelihood, pure and simple.

However, when it comes to praising God, three minutes doesn't seem quite enough to do justice to the Almighty. Singer/songwriter Josh Wilson understands that all too well and writes about it in his first single, "3 Minute Song"—using a melody to communicate eternity is, as his album title states, Trying to Fit the Ocean in a Cup.

It's effective imagery for sure, and that's precisely what makes this Texas native's debut enjoyable. Wilson often finds inspiration in the ordinary and uses such observations to create literate reflections of faith in a fallen world. Whether it's a rollicking money-can't-buy-you-what's-really-important ditty ("Dear Money") or a ballad reflecting on the fragility of life ("Oak Avenue"), Wilson shies away from cliché and effectively uses storytelling to draw a listener in.

Wilson's definitely no slouch as a musician either. Citing John Mayer as one of his primary musical influences, Wilson offers plenty of "aw shucks" charm and simple, guitar-driven accompaniment reminiscent of Room For Squares. But like Gavin DeGraw or Josh Kelley, Wilson's not afraid to rely on bigger production values, adding depth to the jangly pop of "Let Me Love You" and the moody plea for God's intervention in "Savior Please." Also keeping the project interesting is Wilson's varied vocals, ranging from Jon Foreman (Switchfoot) on "Beautiful Like This" to Jason Mraz on "The Saints."

A couple of tracks lag a little, particularly the sound-alikes "Let Me Love You" and "Something's Got to Change." But the final product is a taut, highly listenable collection that should hold even the most fickle listener's attention today, and for years to come.

Trying to Fit the Ocean in a Cup
Our Rating
4 Stars - Excellent
Average Rating
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Release Date
April 29, 2008
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