Release Date: Oct 12, 2004
Record label: Vector
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Singer-Songwriter
The spidery rock of "Devil's Broom" is more straight-ahead at the front but somehow more ominous: "In the time when I can't enough to make it/Give me back half the sense that I used to have/Waking up in the sun face down on the pavement/Everything I own in a garbage bag" -- but by the time the refrain slides around everything becomes lush, nightmarishly euphoric, and utterly strange and beautiful. Another standout is "Echo Park." The wonderfully arranged strings provide a patchy cushion that is elegant, graceful, and nearly pastoral, as they hover above and float though Arthur's poignant yet hopeful love song. "Even Tho" is a mutant pop song, with drum loops, wispy, shimmering keyboards, and a killer falsetto soul vocal from Arthur.
Joseph Arthur's career has been blighted by an attack of that nebulous thing known as critical acclaim - a back-handed way of saying the records are good but no one's buying them. On a new label, his fourth album sees him opening up; it deserves more concrete rewards. Arthur shrugs off the restrictive definitions of what a singer-songwriter should do: he draws on grunge but doesn't really make rock music; there are even echoes of David Bowie and Peter Gabriel, his early mentor.