Joseph Arthur and the Lonely Astronauts – Temporary People

October 7, 2008

“There must be twenty-five different people living inside me all the time…”

The second album from Joseph Arthur and his band has finally arrived, following four EPs that Arthur started releasing earlier this year. The album isn’t exactly what I expected after the EPs, which wandered around quite a lot stylistically and featured some experiments with electronic music. Temporary People is a full on rock album, however, with a 60’s hippie folk and psychedelic aesthetic fully updated by Arthur and his fellow musicians for the new century. Longtime Arthur fans looking for songs like “In The Sun” or “Honey And The Moon” might be disappointed, but if you’ve been following his career of late, you’ll know Arthur’s been rocking out for awhile now, though on this record, it feels like he’s on surer ground. The music sounds more tightly focused and less experimental and improvisational in general than it was on his last LP, Let’s Just Be. (Some might say less self-indulgent, too, though for the record, I did like the last album.) Instead of songs that turn into 20 minute jams, a more economical approach to songwriting has been applied here, though Arthur and his band still make room for some sweet guitar jams, as evidenced on the title track. This is Arthur’s most satisfying album in years, the capstone on a remarkably creative year for a great singer/songwriter. Standout cuts: “Temporary People,” “Faith,” “Sunrise Dolls” and “Turn You On.”


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