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Joseph Arthur
Our Shadows Will Remain
Vector Recordings
www.josepharthur.com


In the absence of new music from Peter Gabriel, the faithful must turn elsewhere to find their musical genius. The obvious recommendation is to turn to Joseph Arthur, who has released a handful of brilliant records over the past few years, which is more than we can say for Mr. Gabriel. The same kernel of Gabriel's musical genius exists in the music of Joseph Arthur, but tinged with a more psychotic and less distinctly focused edge. On Our Shadows Will Remain the production is amazingly crisp and sparkling, each instrument and sound neatly resides in its carefully placed niche. The songs are lush without feeling overcrowded; orchestrations of strings sitting docilely next to heavily distorted drum loops and angsty passages.

From the minimalist and short opening downbeat mood of "In Ohio", the listener is immediately set on a road of emotional duress. "Can't Exist" is as near to a perfect radio single as any song that has been released in the past ten years, with its vocals highly reminiscent of the salad days of Josh Rouse, and a uniquely light pop vibe that trades off easily with distorted guitars and an eerily haunting tension. "Stumble And Pain" darkens the mood quite a bit, relying on shadowy vocals and sonic wonder reminiscent of early 90's Nine Inch Nails. The soft strings and oddly harmonized vocals of "Echo Park" seem to call out to the listener to pay special attention to the peaceful, quiet passages in life, which seem few and far between. And then we are reminded of the frailty of the human condition on "Even Tho", which drops us almost haphazardly into the frenetic pace of "Puppets".

Each song that creates the beautiful sonic palette of Our Shadows Will Remain maintains its own distinct character while inexplicably blending with its discordant neighbors to produce a perfectly balanced listening experience. There is a story to be found in this musical journey - a story of you and me and every person around us, everyday. That is the magic that has set apart musical brilliance since the inception of rock'n'roll. That is the genius of Joseph Arthur.

-David DeVoe

Track Listing

1. In Ohio
2. Can't Exist
3. Stumble And Pain
4. Devil's Broom
5. Echo Park
6. Even Tho
7. Puppets
8. Wasted
9. Failed
10. I Am
11. A Smile That Explodes
12. Leave Us Alone


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Mike Doughty



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