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Josh Hurst

New Joseph Arthur album... now available.

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Dadgummit... this one totally snuck up on me!

I just found out that Joseph Arthur's new album, Our Shadows Will Remain, is set to release TOMORROW.

Pitchfork has already posted a review, and it sounds like a winner.


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I have to admit... Redemption's Son didn't do as much for me as I thought it would. But I'm certainly willing to give it another go.


"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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Listened to this album today.

Man oh man... this thing's a monster.

Remember the soft, gentle Joseph Arthur who sang "You've Been Loved" and "Honey and the Moon"? Well, he's gone. Mostly. In his place is a much colder, bleaker, darker, harsher Joseph Arthur.

Basically, the album sounds like a dark, ominous, hard-rocking version of Come to Where I'm From, with hints of Redemption's Son thrown in for good measure.

Or, for those who aren't familiar with Joseph Arthur, imagine the mutant offspring of U2, Peter Gabriel, Radiohead, and Nirvana.

Haven't paid much attention to the lyrics yet, but, unless they're disasterous, this album will likely rank somewhere in my 2K4 Top10.


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If you FIND the lyrics anywhere, please let me know. They're not in the package, they're not on his Web site.

I too am impressed, but I'm also disappointed. The album sounds so much like Volume Two of a Redemption's Son Double-Album. You're right, he moved into darker territories. But I had hoped he'd try stripping down that crowded, multi-layered sound, especially when it comes to vocals. He likes to create virtual choirs with his own voice, and this makes things feel a bit blurry. The songs are sometimes like paintings without focal points, so I'm not sure what to focus on.

Still, this is the third straight album where he's put on an amazing one-man show. And I can't wait to get my hands on the lyrics.

The album feels like a cry for help, and the sizeable volume of his original visual art that comes with the album is as bleak and distressing as the artwork that comes with Radiohead albums.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

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It doesn't strike me at all as Redemption's Son part 2. It sometimes reminds me of some of the more rocking moments from Redemption's Son-- "Nation of Slaves," for example-- but it hardly qualifies as a sequel.

In fact, I'd say it's quite different from the last album... it's just that it went in the opposite direction from the one you wanted it to go in, Jeffrey.

I agree with your description of the album, but, at this point, I find this new sound to be exhilarating and intoxicating rather than disappointing. But we'll see how that changes once I have time to listen to the album a bit more.

And you know... actually, it sounds more like a darker, electric version of Come to Where I'm From than Redemption's Son. Yeah... that sounds about right.


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catch mr. arthur live, if you can. he played here in grand rapids in september, and it was (to steal words from josh) exhilarating and intoxicating in a way that the record isn't--at least for me. a woman who goes by "joan as police woman" (joan wasser, the former girlfriend of jeff buckley at the time of his death) is playing violin with arthur and adding her background vocals to haunted, haunting effect. i shivered the whole night.

another interesting thing--we had a "conversation" with joseph--open to students and the public--prior to the show, and several people asked about the christian imagery in his lyrics. i don't know if he was playing dumb or if he really doesn't understand what he's doing, but his responses were to the effect that he is not intentionally including christian allusions and that he really doesn't know that much about christianity anyway. he struck me in the conversation as an existentialist with some eastern guru tendencies. but either arthur was feigning ignorance or he's one of those artists who channels truth in spite of himself, because his concert was basically 90 minutes of pure theology. (including a terrifying song, whose lyrics i can't find online, that left me thinking we had just been visited by amos or perhaps the bizarre performance-art prophet ezekiel, who was there to remind us that if society continues the way it's going, "in the end, a fire will rain down on our heads, the sky will open up..." again, shivers. if anyone can find these lyrics or knows what album it's from, i'd appreciate it.)

Edited by kebbie

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I'll second some of kebbie's comments on that Grand Rapids show. I'd enjoyed Redemption's Son (my first Joseph Arthur) but the concert was something else. The darkness surprised me and enthralled me. He had talked in the conversation about how to him an album, once released, is "dead". He claimed that by the time a record is out he's usually lost interest in it and wants to do something new. He played very little from Redemption's Son, and what he did play seemed to indicate that something is definitely "bugging" him.

I'm definitely thinking that he was playing dumb and dodging questions in that conversation. I'm new to the country, but I don't think he could really have been raised in the US and not realise that some phrases he used were sayings of Jesus. I don't like making presumptions that someone is "searching" or "struggling" or whatever if they themselves deny it, but this time...

James.

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Hmmm... after spending some time with these lyrics, I am far less enthused about this album.

Maybe they just haven't had enough time to sink in yet, but, as of right now, I'm a little disappointed by this songwriting. At this point, I'd say that this is Arthur's best album musically, but Redemption's Son has the edge as far as the lyrics go.

But that's a first impression. Don't hold me to it.


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Maybe this is the reason I can't quite get enthusiastic about this one. More and more, his songs seem to be all about HIM ... all about his personal misery and damaging habits, his near-despair, his damaged relationships. After a while, I get tired of the constant focus on his own miserable struggles and I'd like a song about something else. I have a hard time imagining other artists covering his songs, because when you remove them from him, you lose what's distinct about them.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

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More and more, his songs seem to be all about HIM ... all about his personal misery and damaging habits, his near-despair, his damaged relationships.

I know I'm in the minority here, but I think that is a weakness that has characterized ALL of Joseph Arthur's albums, with "Redemption's Son" being the shining exception to the rule. "Big City Secrets" and "Come to Where I'm From" both seemed extremely self-absorbed and almost narcissistic in a self-loathing sort of way.

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...his concert was basically 90 minutes of pure theology. (including a terrifying song, whose lyrics i can't find online, that left me thinking we had just been visited by amos or perhaps the bizarre performance-art prophet ezekiel, who was there to remind us that if society continues the way it's going, "in the end, a fire will rain down on our heads, the sky will open up..." again, shivers. if anyone can find these lyrics or knows what album it's from, i'd appreciate it.)

The song you're referring to is called All Of Our Hands. It's an online-only song that you can hear on Joe's official website. You can also go to www.allofourhands.com and see the video for it. [WARNING: the video contains graphic imagery of violence and death.]

Btw, there is also an e.p. called And The Thieves Are Gone that are songs recorded around the same time as Our Shadows Will Remain, but didn't make it onto the album. I don't rate it as highly as the album (which was my personal pick for album of the year), but it may be of interest to some of you.

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QUOTEMore and more, his songs seem to be all about HIM ... all about his personal misery and damaging habits, his near-despair, his damaged relationships.

I know I'm in the minority here, but I think that is a weakness that has characterized ALL of Joseph Arthur's albums, with "Redemption's Son" being the shining exception to the rule. "Big City Secrets" and "Come to Where I'm From" both seemed extremely self-absorbed and almost narcissistic in a self-loathing sort of way.

Wow, you are so dead-on with the narcissism. I don't know if this thread is still active or not but I had a personal experience with JA where I saw first-hand how narcissistic he is. I would say he's insecure, yet at the same time, believes he's 'special' and above other people. Other people are basically objects that he uses to make him LOOK GOOD. He doesn't care about anyone but himself and others' exist only to serve him in someway. I loved his music and the his self-absorbed songs never bothered me, BUT, right now I can say with 100% certainty that JA actually suffers from narcissistic personality disorder! I'm convinced of it based on what happened to me and my experiences dealing with him and then, the more I read about the actual disorder itself, the more everything fell into place. (If anyone wants the full story of what happened send me a private message!) At this point, I'm on the verge of selling my story to a magazine because it's just so interesting.

Edited by Pierluigi

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