Joseph Arthur & the Lonely Astronauts: Temporary People

Capping off a banner year for Joseph Arthur’s rabbit-like discography is this full-length collection of twelve songs, recorded with Arthur’s band, the Lonely Astronauts. What’s not surprising is that, unlike Arthur’s four EPs released this year, Temporary People maintains a consistency of sound from start to finish – warm, natural, like a live representation of a Lonely Astronauts performance. What is a bit of a puzzler, however, is the cover art – the red pen written across the band’s image looks tacky, to be nice about it. The black and white cover photo would have been just fine on its own. Get past that, though, and you get a solid collection of tunes employing choir-like vocal choruses (“Heart’s a Soldier”), eccentric and confident lead guitar sailing over solid rock rhythms, soulful organ (“Turn You On”) and even some frisky slide guitar and some Rolling Stones-like swagger and boogie on “Winter Blades.” The songs here are all (mostly) stronger than what appeared on the four preceding EPs, though the album as a whole never quite matches the artistic brilliance of Arthur’s third EP this year, Vagabond Skies, nor does it aim to. This is Arthur rocking out with his band, and everyone sounding happy to be doing so. It’s not quite the gold at the end of the EP rainbow, but then, expecting a grand swirling masterpiece was our problem, not Arthur’s. (Lonely Astronaut 2008)

Joseph Arthur & The Lonely Astronauts MySpace page


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