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Devil's Broom by Joseph Arthur

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Reviewed on 4th February 2006.

 
 

Devil's Broom

By Joseph Arthur

Joseph Arthur fails to convince with this tale of poverty and woe, primarily due to the major league production smoothing away any grains of true emotion. Arthur's lyrics are earnest yet with an irritating tendency toward the obvious, highlighted by the refrain ["Why can't you see?/ You mean everything to me"].

While the multiple guitar tracks, echoed vocals and piano outro make the track listenable, anyone hooked in on the bait of discovering the next Elliott Smith better stop deluding themselves. If this truly is the best of Arthur's latest slab "Our Shadows Will Remain" then I would suggest picking up some Sufjan Stevens or Neutral Milk Hotel instead.

I could see the track's somewhat romanticised version of down-and-out alcoholism soundtracking the expected Hollywood adaptation of James Frey's dubiously recounted memoir "A Million Little Pieces". ["Walking up in the sun face down in the pavement/ Everything I own in a garbage bag"]. It's the age old tale: Man gets girl, man drinks himself to the point of amnesia, man revisits past mistakes endlessly as considered easier than apologising.

 

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