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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Let’s Just Be is a great big classic-rock mess, and while fans of Joseph Arthur’s more delicate chamber-pop moments might need to make a few mental adjustments, the mercurial singer-songwriter proves himself as adept with scruff and sprawl as he was with sturm und brood. The leather-pants musical references fly fast and furious, from Exile on Main Street-era Stones (the raucous yet radio-friendly “Diamond Ring”) to self-consciously trashy takes on glam rock via T. Rex and David Bowie (“Spacemen,” with its gorgeous harmonies and fuzzed-out guitars). The handclap-spiked dance groove of the title song even works in a twofer with its hoarse chorus: “Let it bleed, let it be.” In some ways, the change is all for the good. The music has lost the airless quality of his one-man band days, and its relaxed, spontaneous vibe captures the energy of Arthur’s live shows. But the accompanying studio foolery—snippets of conversations, laughter, even some very loud fake snoring—feels like eavesdropping on someone else’s party. Let’s Just Be is Arthur’s second album in eight months; self-editing might not be such a bad idea when he comes down off his creative high.

Customer Reviews

Rock & Roll

This is a killer rock and roll record by one of America's finest touring bands and an intuitive, audacious step in the career of an important modern artist. Don't miss it. Painter/poet/humanitarian Joseph Arthur may be known primarily as a singer/songwriter, but every record he's released represents a big step forward, and Let's Just Be is another. And really, despite the excellent support from his new rock group The Lonely Astronauts (Kraig Jarret Johnson on guitars and keyboards, Jennifer Turner on guitar, Greg Wieczorek on drums and Sibyl Buck on bass) Let's Just Be is not so far removed from what we've come to expect from JA: the fragile roar, fine falsetto, visceral wordplay, explosive dynamics and deep groove are all here. The last record, Nuclear Daydream, found Arthur writing raw ballads and pithy anthems on (mostly) acoustic guitar. This new album represents a sonic progression -- a regression, in some ways -- to the gritty euphoria of Beggars Banquet and Exile-era Stones, live T. Rex, even The White Stripes. When The Beatles' musical experimentations wrought "I Am The Walrus," there were probably a few who wished for another "She Loves You." On her live album Miles Of Aisles, Joni Mitchell famously retorted to an enthusiast's request for one of her hits by saying "nobody ever said to Van Gogh, 'Paint us Starry Night again, man!'" The repetition of a musical past is not what we should expect from great recording artists, certainly not from Joseph Arthur. Let's Just Be is for those fans who are willing to take another step with a much-loved songwriter; it's also for those who like us who like our rock and roll.

Great New Joseph Arthur Experience

I didn't realize that Joseph Arthur's other albums are minus the Lonely Astronauts. For some reason I always felt they were there. That being said, this proves me wrong, it is clear when listening to this album that Joseph Arthur and The Lonely Astronauts are far different than Joseph Arthur on his own. This album feels like a raucous band. But it's good, and the Joseph Arthur element we love is not lost, just altered. (And sometimes MUCH higher pitched) It wasn't what I wanted, so I didn't give it a perfect score, but I am so pleased with it regardless that I needed to review it and give it a high grade. I hope their next album is just as good, but I wouldn't mind some more "Slide Away" and "In The Sun" type songs. However, Diamond Ring really kicks, so it's hard to miss them. Diamond Ring isn't the only good song either, but if you're looking for a sample I'd pick that.

Hmm. Just not Joseph Arthur.

I'm sorry but I'm really just not a fun of this new album. I guess it's okay-pretty good if you like rock, but I have always been a fan of Joseph's more mellow soothing work. If you get one song from this album though get "Take me Home". Please Joseph, stick to your true talent-beautiful song writing.

Let's Just Be, Joseph Arthur & The Lonely Astronauts
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Customer Ratings