Josh Todd
"You Made Me"

(XS Records/Todd Entertainment 2004)Josh Todd - You Made Me

No matter whether Josh Todd purposely wrote radio friendly songs or it just happened that way, "You Make Me" is unquestionably going to appeal to a certain group of music fans. The hard rock power chords and gritty, grinding guitar with pounding bass and Todd's voice are hit or miss, either working together very well or not working together at all.

Up tempo catchy hard rock with a very poppy aspect, "Mind Infection," opens Todd's "You Made Me" on the right foot as his voice snarls on the chorus of "Broken" over grinding instrumentation. Darker and melodic, "The Walls" is slower with a too busy chorus before the deceptive hardcore opening of "Flowers & Cages" leads into a surprisingly catchy chorus. "Shine" and "Afraid," two surefire radio songs, are all power as Todd's vocals soar over decent instrumentation and gentle vocals over a typical rock ballad, respectively.

"I'm about to drop your mother's angel on the floor," Todd screams on the loud and hard "Blast." While in a similar tone, "Burn" paints a grim picture of domestic troubles. "Circles" falls back to "Afraid," gentle driving guitar and mid tempo. The album's catchiest, and probably heaviest, moment comes on "Straight Jacket" as Todd shouts repeatedly, angrily, "Four walls, no windows, no fucking cigarettes!" Never sounding as good vocally as on "Slave," the song reminds of grunge in some parts and nu-metal in others. Bass and guitar drive the rhythmic "Wasted" in one last attempt at a powerful and heavy sound before the orchestral ballad "Lovely Bones."

Todd's sometimes hard rock, sometimes nu-metal sound is not groundbreaking nor is it always agreeable. The album, his first solo effort, might be of most interest to Buckcherry fans, longing for some new material from the band's former singer. Todd is all over the place, seething with anger and screaming in earnest while at other times he sounds like a wounded and pessimistic non-romantic. "You Make Me" becomes more palatable with each listen.

B-

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