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Josh Gracin - We Weren’t Crazy
Interview/Album Review By: Brianna Nightingale, CSO Staff Journalist
4/8/08

In the past I heard that Josh Gracin went in to Lyric Street, sang in front of a few staff members and ended up with a record deal. I knew it couldn’t be quite that simple, and I’m sure it wasn’t, but something along those lines did actually happen. “Lyric Street was the last one we went to,” Gracin said. He sang in front of Doug Howard and Randy Goodman before Randy and Doug went in to round up the rest of the senior staff so Josh could sing in front of them again. “I wasn’t nervous because I knew this was my shot to do what I‘ve always wanted to do,” he said.

Gracin tried to get into country music from the time he was thirteen or fourteen years old, but he knew it wasn’t the right time. "If it weren’t for American Idol," Gracin said he "still would have done whatever it took, and eventually would have made it to where he is today". American Idol fans are a huge advantage to show contestants, but they must work hard to keep them. “You have to be fun and entertaining, because the bottom line is the fans are coming to see you,” he said. “As a country singer, the biggest thing you need to realize is that you need to appreciate your fans and the people that get you where you are.” Gracin believes the best way to have fans and keep them is to do live shows and keep everybody entertained. That is what this is all about, isn’t it?

Looking back on YouTube videos, I believe that Gracin’s vocal and performance ability sure has improved since American Idol. He had three top five hits on his first album, which is incredible considering how little time he had to work on it and stay focused. While recording his debut album and juggling a career as a Marine, Gracin constantly flew in to record during weekends and holidays. He said it was very hectic but also fun. “We really didn’t have time to really dig into the direction we were going on the first CD,” he said. “The only thing we could do was make sure we picked songs. This time we had a set direction we wanted to go.”

I believe he’s on his way to just as much, if not more success than three top five hits this time around. “The only way to really tell is when it gets released, if people keep coming to the stores and buying it,” he said. “You’re always going to have your first group of people that buy and see everything you do,” Gracin said, mentioning how grateful he is for that group of fans.

The new album, We Weren’t Crazy, is a mix of songs that fit Gracin’s personality well. He undoubtedly accomplished one of the main goals he had for this album, which was choosing songs that better fit his live show. He said “this one (album) has a totally different sound and a totally different feel.”

He’s absolutely right about that. It opens with a riveting tune called “Found” that paints a familiar picture for dreamers who have met their goals, followed by his current single about his own successful marriage.

There are a few cuts on the album which will be familiar to listeners. The complex, quick lyrics in “Favorite State of Mind” fit Gracin’s style and live show perfectly while “I Keep Comin’ Back” demonstrates the persistence Gracin must’ve had at the beginning of his career. Don’t confuse “I Don’t Want To Live” with “I Want to Live” from his debut album. This one is a cry for forgiveness in the occurrence that mistakes were made. The catchy melody of “Telluride” is another known tune thanks to a previous recording done by Tim McGraw.

We Weren’t Crazy includes three songs which were written by Gracin, one of them being the title track. Inspired by his marriage to his high school sweetheart, he wrote this one with Bobby Pinson and Tony Lopacinski to show his parents that they had been wrong about his ability to make important choices. I think he has proven that fairly well over the past few years now that he and his wife have three children; Briana, Landon and Gabriella.

Although the majority of this CD has a buoyant feel to it, it is well-balanced thanks to songs such as “Invisible,” “Let Me Fall” and “Unbelievable (Ann Marie),” which Gracin wrote for his wife. This love song is a fine way to finish up the hard work Gracin has been putting into this album for years. He has come a long way from his American Idol days, and not only through his voice, but also in his life, and the living of it.


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