JOSEPH ARTHUR-“Could We Survive” and “Crazy Rain” (EP)

Posted: May 1, 2008 by dillion in Uncategorized

My first exposure to Joseph Arthur was his not-terribly-good “Nuclear Daydream” album, which, I
understand from his true fans, was also not-terribly-representative of his work. Well, if they were talking about the kind of stuff on this pair of EPs (the first two of five promised to be released in oh-eight), then I get it.

The first EP, “Could We Survive,” is singer-songwriter folk-rock of the highest order. As you might guess from its title, the theme of the EP is the end of the world. In “Rages of Babylon,” a solder who is sent “to protect the land of the free” asks “will my family remember me?” The next song, “Morning Cup,” is more optimistic, but it maintains the anti-war theme (“Give up your soldiers/the battle has been won”). Five of the six songs on this EP are great, with the ironic exception of the title track, a quiet duet featuring that gets a little boring (and it’s only a few minutes long to begin with). If you purchase just one anti-war album this year, make it this one.

The second EP, “Crazy Rain,” has a harder edge to it, mostly, although it is also not without its quieter moments. It begins with “Killer’s Knife,” which has a heavy electric riff and fuzzy vocals. The feel of the EP stays like this: Aggressive (even in its slower-paced songs), electro-rock, with a special laid-back menace track (“Nothin’ 2 Hide”) featuring Greg Dulli. This EP is more fun than the first, but less lyrically adventurous—listen to it while you’re getting drunk, then put on “Could We Survive” while you’re coming down.

Rages of Babylon

Bonus: Joseph does Biggie’s 10 Crack Commandments.

  1. Karen says:

    “his not-terribly-good “Nuclear Daydream” album”

    wow what a bunch of crap.
    that album is amazing.

    how can you possibly review any of his music without being familiar with his previous work.

  2. ekko says:

    First of all, I’m not the only one who had that opinion. It got a 6.6 on Pitchfork.

    Second of all, you can’t possibly believe that someone should not form an opinion about an artist’s work unless that person hears all of the artists work. That would be assinine.

  3. Sonja says:

    I just want to say that somehow I completely missed ever hearing Joseph Arthur. I think it was the years spent with my head in the sand. Fell in love with the tunes you posted and have spent the last day tracking down anything ever blogged about him. thank you for yet another addiction.

  4. Antoine says:

    How does referring to Pitchfork make your point more valid? >_>

  5. ekko says:

    It doesn’t necessarily make my point more valid (if validity is really the issue). It makes my point less lonely, though, and the fact that I am not the only one who thinks something tends to show that my opinion is not unreasonable. Of course, that doesn’t mean that my musical tastes are CORRECT, but it does tend to show that they are not INSANE. Are they “valid”? Well, yeah. So are yours. Any preference is “valid.”

  6. I can tell that this is not the first time you write about the topic. Why have you chosen it again?

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