Our Shadows Will Remain
First Appeared in The Music Box, December 2004, Volume 11, #12
Written by John Metzger
Joseph Arthurís fourth full-length studio effort Our Shadows Will Remain begins not with an attention-grabbing bang, but with the ambient whisper of In Ohio ó a somber, 45-second snippet of a song that captures the sad sense of desperate isolation that pervades much of the album. Still, itís the second tune ó the explosive Canít Exist, with its gospel-tinged, U2-meets-David Bowie vibe ó that is far more representative of the bulk of the set. By folding together wispy keyboards and heady drum loops with splashes of acoustic and electric guitar, dobro, and dulcimer, Arthur creates a murky, unsettling atmospheric suite of material that is further colored, at times, with the lush orchestrations of the Prague Philharmonic. There are moments ó such as on the chilling Leave Us Alone, the ghostly clatter of Stumble and Pain, and the airy Failed ó when the ominous tones turn downright claustrophobic ó which explains why, despite a plethora of fawning critical praise, Arthur has yet to reach the masses with his music. Even so, thereís a sweetness that clings to the melancholy of Echo Park, and tracks like the deliriously soulful Even Tho and the infectiously melodic Puppets offer a more accessible avenue for sinking into his gloomy world. In essence, although Our Shadows Will Remain isnít a flawless affair, it is a compelling endeavor that effectively muses about the fragility of life and love with frequently captivating results. Ĺ
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box