Come to Where I'm From - Joseph Arthur
Come to Where I'm From Image
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 8 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.4

Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second album from Ohio singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur, who was originally discovered and signed by Peter Gabriel.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. The songs adhere to the beautiful-loser template established by Leonard Cohen, to which Arthur adds bumpier, near-hip-hop rhythms and desolate-angel sentiments like ''Now Jesus he came down here just to die for all my sins/I need him to come back here and die for me again.''
  2. 90
    Enlisting a heavy-hitting cast of helpers -- from the best unknown drummer in the world (Carla Azar) to one of the most creatively pure producers around (T Bone Burnett) -- Arthur has transformed a dozen of his best compositions from the skeletal coffeehouse-ready material they surely were at conception into richly-textured and deeply emotive mood pieces.
  3. With Come to Where I'm From, Joseph Arthur shows a willingness to ease up on the stifling angst that dominated his previous efforts. To be sure, the album still has more than its share of gut-wrenching misery -- there's no shortage of lines like "I feel like taking a razor blade and on my wrist write an invitation" -- but this time out, the anguish is balanced by healthy doses of self-awareness and a winking sense of humor.
  4. Stylistically he's been likened to just about everybody from Leonard Cohen to Kurt Cobain. However, the use of loops and samples on Chemical, for instance, are just as likely to recall Beck, while the damaged tone could give Eels's E a run for his money.
  5. There are enough solid songwriting chops behind the facade to sustain him, and there's just as much-- if not more-- to be said for the production. T-Bone Burnett, Rick Will, and Arthur himself each take co-producer titles, and what results is a raw, endearing sound that blends each instrument perfectly while remaining crisp as a bell.
  6. Because the songs jump so radically between styles, the ultimate reaction to Come to Where I'm From is confusion. Arthur seems to be looking for an identity but not feeling totally comfortable with any of the ones he adopts.
  7. Arthur's shortcomings as a lyricist make his emotional palette seem as limited as his sonic palette is varied and, however layered the production, his songwriting nearly always follows suit.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5