Joseph Arthur – The Ballad Of Boogie Christ

Welcome to the world of Boogie Christ the central character on Joseph Arthur’s tenth studio album, loosely based on himself, it is the first part of a trilogy that contains some of the finest songs of his seventeen year career. Certainly more focused than his previous work it mixes big gospel sounds along with his knack of writing perfect rock/pop songs. From the opening track ‘Currency of love’ with its choir and Hammond organ sound you can tell that there is a maturity and clarity to the production, there is a sense of a tame Spiritualized jostling with Arthur’s distinctive style. Lyrically there were a few moments I was unsure about on first listen but they are the same parts I now think of quite fondly and while the album deals with some dark themes, ‘I Miss The Zoo’ a re-recording of the song from his previous album ‘Redemption City’ a twisted hymn to addiction, these moments are much needed to inject a sense of fun into the proceedings. ‘The Ballad of Boogie Christ’ adds horns to the ever growing wall of sound while ‘It’s Ok to Be Young/Gone’ and ‘Still Life Honey Rose’ are more straight forward rock songs. But for me there are two stand out tracks ‘I Used to Know How to Walk on Water’ with Arthur doing his best Al Green ‘Forgive me now my useless thunder, when I was such a dynamo, I am here and I am humble, help me know which way to go’ and live favourite ‘All The Old Heroes’ finally committed to record ‘All the old heroes are like children to me now, as I come to burn your shame away, without knowing exactly how’. With guest appearances ranging from Garth Hudson (The Band) to Juliette Lewis and Joan as Policewoman to Ben Harper Arthur has surrounded himself with some serious talent and it shows. Obviously I’m a big fan, this very blog named after his second album, but I can honestly say that Boogie Christ and to a certain extent Arthur’s own redemption has made way for a great record and I for one can’t wait for the next two instalments.

boogie christ

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2 Responses to Joseph Arthur – The Ballad Of Boogie Christ

  1. Elva Horne says:

    It’s OK to Be Young / Gone and I Used to Know How to Walk on Water are taken from the new album by Brooklyn’s rock singer and songwriter Joseph Arthur. The record is entitled ‘The Ballad of Boogie Christ’ and was released on June 11, 2013 via Lonely Astronaut Records. Arthur’s tenth studio recording was funded by his fans in a PledgeMusic campaign, and he turns into an experimental new direction as an artist. The two songs above are not the only standout tracks on ‘The Ballad of Boogie Christ’. Listen yourself, the album is streaming in its entirety over at Paste Magazine . Arthur himself comments on the record with the following: “Boogie Christ is unlike anything I’ve ever done before. It’s a big production with horns and soul singers; a psychedelic soul record about redemption and what happens after you find it and lose it.” He’s currently on the road in the US and will be playing a handful of shows in the next days. Check out the remaining dates below and listen to the beautiful album track Saint of Impossible Causes.

  2. To help fund what Arthur calls “some of the richest music I’ve made in 17 years of putting together records,” he’s started a PledgeMusic campaign. Aiming to “clear up old studio debt, pay for mastering, and help [him] to release it properly and tour everywhere possible,” Arthur is offering incentives like rare music, custom painted guitars , and even the infamous van honored in “Where is My Van” (Arthur paid $5,500 to reunite with the van; you’ll have to pay $19,000 to own it. But if any CoS reader happens to buy it, we’re first in line to carpool down to Bonnaroo). Someone already snagged the $500 “Lifetime Show Passes”, but there are plenty of enticing incentives to be had at the album’s PledgeMusic site .

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