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Wednesday, April 19, 2000

Review - Come to Where I'm From

Artist: Joseph Arthur

Posted on Wed, Apr 19, 2000 at 4:00 AM

Come to Where I'm From
Label: Real World/Virgin
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Come to Where I'm From

As abrasive and otherworldly as acclaimed New York songwriter Joseph Arthur's voice may be, his vision is wondrous. On "Come to Where I'm From," Arthur's third album, echoes of Patti Smith and Tom Waits are stirred into a sonic masterpiece of layered strings and nervous blips, creating a sort of travelogue through one modern man's loves and losses, and the subsequent pain and affirmation. "In the Sun" offers vacant hope in its assurance of "May God's love be with you," but it quickly becomes clear that God has nothing to do with it.

"Chemical" layers a loopy Brian Wilson coda around its medicated message. And its all done without the standard indulgences of a folk aside.

No wisdom is greater than that of the album's centerpiece, "History," with its pendulous, manic mantra of "your history acts as your gravity" and vice versa. This song grumbles to a monumental climax that may change your life.

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