Come To Where I'm From
Joseph Arthur, 2012
In its pursuit of unearthing previously unheard music from the planet's four corners, Real World has never ignored Western rock and pop. No-one's disqualified. And in Akron, Ohio, the label (or, rather Peter Gabriel himself) found Joseph Arthur, a singer-songwriter with high-proof creative juices oozing out of every pore.
2000's 'Come To Where I'm From' was his second album for the label. Co-produced by the mighty T-Bone Burnett, it's a dense, attractively claustrophobic record, full of delightful contradictions: unnerving and reassuring, raw and yet meticulously compiled.
'I wanted to get the songs down in a way that was true to them and true to myself. I really wanted them to have humanity in them. I wanted an element of a gamble in it. I think too much music sounds too contained. I wanted it to sound like it could go out of control at any minute. I didn't want it produced to death.' Joseph Arthur
Not content to limit himself to guitar, harmonica and sampling wizardry, Joseph is also a writer, sculptor and painter. His drawings and paintings feature in this album's artwork, which Joseph co-designed and art directed with Zachary Larner. 1999's 'Vacany' EP had gained Joseph and Zachary a Grammy nomination for the Best Recording Package.
- ...Joseph Arthur is clearly not your average singer-songwriter. His second album explores cavernous atmospherics, sawing cello arrangements, psychedelia and the odd squall of grunge. Beneath it all, though remains the clear sound of a man alone with a jumbo guitar, a notebook full of lyrics and a lot of pain. ..Arthur made his debut three years back; this record is far more accomplished, thanks in great part to the inventive settings conjured up by producer T-Bone Burnett, which switch easily from, for example, the swooning Byrds harmonies and full-on guitars of 'Chemical' to the sparse, dreamy sound of 'Invisible Hands'. His influences are plain enough - Dylan, Waits, Cobain - but by the end of the record, he sounds like nobody but himself; dark, lovelorn and clever. The Observer (UK)
- The sound is spooked, widly introspective, yet wide open enchanting. Joseph Arthur's an oddball songsmith who weaves words, guitars and a whole heap of discordant sounds into songs that hang around your head long after they finish. The sound is spooked, widly introspective, yet wide open enchanting. Arthur writes melodies, chorus, bridge - real songcraft - while sounding like everything just fell into place. Beautifully produced (T-Bone Burnett, take a bow) and boasting a subtle imaginative stylistic mix, Joseph Arthur is an American original and head 'n' shoulders above the likes of Beck. Uncut (UK)
- Put simply, Joe's sickeningly talented. The Independent (2000) (UK)
- this beautiful record is further proof that the singer-songwriter is alive and inspired . Mojo (2000) (UK)
- Beautifully produced ...(T-Bone Burnett, take a bow) and boasting a subtle, imaginative stylistic mix, Joseph Arthur is an American original and headnshoulders above the likes of Beck. Uncut (2000) (UK)
- Rich with beautiful... ...layers of sound , his gift for melodies and ability to give songs subtle, almost psychedelic twists makes for compelling listening. May 2000 Top (2000) (UK)
- Soulful and intricate in ways that most songwriters can never dream of... ...these songs will have a lasting presence . Cmj Online
- Come To Where Im From is as tastefully ravaged as its lyrics... ...a scorched landscape of murky atmospherics, unshaven guitars, and surprise delicately affecting melodies. 21 April 2000 Entertainment Weekly (USA)