25 Jul The Ballad of Boogie Christ / Reviews
When I first heard Jo’s music, his lyrics jumped out at me. I love his words, love his music. It’s great to see some of his best written work assembled. His words rattle and rumble and prise open the cage.
—Peter Gabriel, musician
To riff off a riff; to update Ginsberg’s holy HOWL; to stand this naked; to wrestle an attention deficit world into a moment’s shivering standstill, just for a spiked breath of reflection: Wow. Joseph Arthur writes, builds, paints, draws, and creates because he has no choice. It is our luck that he does so.
—Michael Stipe of REM
…singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur’s sheer poetic nature and experimental sonic proclivity is beyond comparison to anyone. Arthur’s The Ballad of Boogie Christ is perhaps his most focused, yet stylistically eccentric work; a creative mind at play with avant-garde swaths of rock, folk, and soul from the mind of a true visionary. With emotive storytelling expressed through an artist’s eyes, Arthur’s melancholy goes straight to the heart.
Elmore Magazine Online (USA)
In terms of his prolific output, diverse sonic palette…
…balancing experimentalism with accessibility and his sheer sincerity, he’s nearly unrivaled among his peers.
Newa triple threat…
…artist since the mid-’90s, bridging music, poetry and painting with prolific creativity and unyielding inventiveness.
NPR Music (USA)
Top 25 best albums of 2013
Joseph Arthur, “The Ballad of Boogie Christ” The singer-songwriter’s ever-shifting artistic interests are leaning more toward Dylanesque folk these days, with the rollicking “I Miss the Zoo” and the stunning “King of Cleveland.”
This is a vibrant, uplifting and ultimately rewarding record
Joseph Arthur is heading into his third decade as a performer and is making some of the most interesting music of his career. And how many artists can say that?
Arthur se révèle ici à l’image de ses toiles: c’est éclaté (ballade crooner, pop-rock, folk-pop ou blues, teintes jazz…), coloré, texturé, la trame narrative est étoffée, imagée, signifiante, et surtout cohérente. De loin le projet le plus abouti – et accrocheur – d’un artiste multifacettes.
Guillaume Bourgault-Côté (Le Devoir)
Joseph Arthur is a long-term disrupter and a challenger of the norms.
He is possibly the most talented musician of the last twenty years in the US. Over the years, he has adapted and changed his style but has always amazed with his offering. Long may this disrupter bring joy to our lives.
The Huffington Post (UK)
Joseph Arthur is finally delivering the masterpiece he’s worked towards his whole career:
…his Exile, his Blonde On Blonde, his Disintegration, his watershed. Arthur belts it out with the glorious spirituality of U2, Rough redemption, validation of the real, something Joseph Arthur has striven for through a lifetime of music. It sounds like he’s being reborn.
It’s worth seeking out…
The Ballad of Boogie Christ wraps with the seven-plus minute “All the Old Heroes,” which was released in advance as a video. It’s worth seeking out…Joey Ramone, Shirley Temple, Superman, Gandhi, Twiggy, Dukes of Hazzard, Bob Marley, Captain Kangaroo. They’re all there. They flash by and you think something like, “I get it. Heroes are those people who show us how to really go for it.” And that’s exactly what Arthur is doing with The Ballad of Boogie Christ. Going for it.”
…rock and folk melodies meet a touch of soul and psychedelia…
…in the service of his candid tenor and lyrics peering into a psyche in communication with despair, desolation and doubt but nonetheless, open, engaged, uncowed, and, Arthur hopes, with a sense of fun intact.
Joseph Arthur has been cranking out critically acclaimed material for over a decade and a half… …and now the singer-songwriter is back with a bold new venture.
… an experimental new direction… While the instrumentation on Boogie Christ certainly stands out, it is Arthur’s lyrical prowess and rich storytelling that ultimately drive the album.
The Ballad of Boogie Christ is a full-scale production of storytelling and exciting instrumentation…
After thirteen years in the music bizz, Joseph Arthur clearly knows the equation for entertaining, poignant songs, and doesn’t show any signs of stopping.
To say that The Ballad of Boogie Christ is inspired is an understatement.
It was written, performed, cut, and mixed with great care, and as such delivers Arthur’s creative vision with abundant emotional power.
Arthur has rarely been more focused…
The welcome shock of the new – notably a staggering soul-revue holler in Currency of Love – is balanced by the warm familiarity of some long-standing staples from the live show. …Arthur is rarely content to stay in one place for long. Let’s enjoy his Technicolor phase while it lasts.
Montreal Gazette (Canada)
The Ballad of Boogie Christ weaves beautiful narratives in and out of folksy numbers and rock songs…
…adding a layered palette of horn solos and soulful back-up singers. In short, there’s a reason why Arthur calls this album one of the “richest” projects he’s worked on during his 17-year career. Listen to the whole album in one sitting, and you’ll feel like you’ve traveled a long journey with the 41-year-old singer-one that leads you from addiction, to recovery, to making amends and affirming friends, and, finally, to the light at the end of that long, dark tunnel.
The Ballad Of Boogie Christ, a true masterpiece…Arthur’s most ambitious and focused work in over a decade.
…as the artist documents his struggle with addiction, redemption and recovery by finally managing to triumph over the art that chooses to channel through him. … By simply releasing The Ballad of Boogie Christ after years of work, Arthur has managed to win the battle of focus over instant gratification, and it shows. This is not fast food from a factory farm, every riff and melody is home grown and fine tuned into a four star, twelve course feast fit for a king. The album has taken everything Arthur has to offer and puts it out on the table. While it would be careless to pretend to know how much of Boogie Christ’s struggle is fictional and how much is personal, with these twelve tracks Arthur has made the soundtrack for the moment you finally overcome whatever obstacle life puts in your path. No matter how hard the journey and the struggle may be, Arthur has made the perfect musical roadmap to get you safely through to the other side.
… Of our modern-day musical philosophers, Arthur is one of most underrated best…Arthur sprung a leak in his soul and as he gathered up the droplets, Boogie Christ was born.