Sometime in late 2008 or 2009 I began paying attention to freely available music via Free Albums Galore. Through that site I found a plethora of download sites that supported artists by giving them a forum in which to share their own works with the public. Publishers, music social networking sites and archives are all working hard to figure out what the right model is. Among them I've found some gems like Diablo Swing Orchestra and After the Fire. But one performer who I've always been on the fence about is Josh Woodward.
I first came across Josh via Free Albums Galore's review of The Simple Life which I feel is a heavily mixed bag. I did enjoy the upbeat and catchy Afterglow, but that kind of light fare seemed to be all he did, and in many of his others songs it just became too saccharine for me to take.
Flip forward to Christmas 2009 when I was trying to turn people on to the blocSonic netlabel and their netBloc series of free collections. It was then that I stumbled upon Methylchloroisothiazolinone in volume 8 (blocSonic has put together an astounding 26 albums of free music!) Here, Woodward shows that he can rock and even bring a dark sense of humor to the table. The song is about a preservative found in many personal hygiene and moisturizing products, but also triggers an allergic reaction is some that causes eczema-like symptoms. The oft-repeated line in the song, "you make me feel so clean," makes me chuckle just a bit, but at the same time it makes me wonder how many people have been caught in a cycle of using more and more moisturizer to treat the condition caused by that very same product.
I'm still of two minds when it comes to Woodward, but this song has lead to a re-examination of his work, and that's never a bad thing.