Our Arthur - Humour Me (Work of Heart Records)
CD/DL
Out Now

Our Arthur has released a new album, and Louder Than War’s Adrian Bloxham likes what he hears, or should I say feels?

“They don’t give out awards for good conversations…”

Our Arthur crafts songs to make you feel. This album isn’t so much about how the songs sound, it’s more about how the songs make you feel. His voice is emotional, either quiet and peaceful accompanied by an acoustic guitar or louder and more nasal over the instruments in some of the other songs.

The first song, ‘Reputations’ is soft and gentle, with a quiet strummed guitar and singing. It’s calming and warm. “All I want is everything,” he sings, and talks about reputation being everything.

‘The Company They Keep’ is sad and low. “Why should I worry at all?” the trumpet playing over the song makes it sound even more mournful. ‘You can tell about a person by the company they keep’, his voice is lush and rich as he sings about what feels like a one night stand.

‘Stories About How We Never Got Anywhere’ starts with a static hiss and feels more upbeat than the songs before, except the lyrics point to a life wasted, thinking about what was achieved and watching the one you love go before you, the harmonica playing adds a layer of sadness and the message seems to be, “is our life worth anything in the end?”

‘Strange About the Rain’ has a deeper voice and a bigger sound with harder guitar and sweeping strings, the drums shuffle along and create something that could be a huge hit.

‘The Gratification Files’ talks about someone having a box of their ex-lovers photos under the bed, filed in order of how satisfying they were. It takes the sound back to an acoustic guitar and a warm, rough at the edges voice. It’s about people that are a little bit crazy are also amazing, that there’s “nothing wrong with the way you feel.”

 

‘The Sole of Your Shoes’ starts with the hum of feedback, it grows into gentle bass and blues fuzzed guitar to give a sad and lost sound. The voice is low and mournful again, “Left me lost and used.”

‘Torn Anorak’ has a busking sound, along with the outside buzz, underneath the strummed guitar; a perfect accompaniment to the strange lyrics. (Nasty Habit) sounds sweet and gentle, but the story it tells is of bullies using football at school to inflict violence, teachers and other players . An upbeat feel to the song, but harrowing lyrics.

‘Clinging to the Records’ is a gentle strum and a breathy voice, about splitting up and holding on to something to keep sane; the realization that you’re not a very nice person inside and not everything is okay. It breaks into an electric guitar solo and then dissolves into a feedback howl.

‘The Southern ‘R’/All of You Things’ feels sad and lonely, but friends that want something from you all the time are not there when you need them..then the dark voice mourning “What I do with all your things…”

‘The Tommy Cooper Affiliation Society’ is another hit record. It’s got strumming guitar, shuffling drums and harmonica. The vocal is more nasal and direct, “easy come easy go, now you see me now you don’t, I can’t stay.” A long loud guitar break with competing fuzzed out vocals over the top. Then it fades down to disparate sounds and someone talking about trying to revive, I am assuming, the late great Tommy Cooper.

 

‘Good Conversations’ the way you can meet friends over the years and just slot back into where you left off, the one passing on and the other reflecting on regret and sadness. ‘You don’t get any awards for good conversations’

Our Arthur has crafted a handful of quiet masterpieces and a couple of what could be pop classics. It is at turns a heartwarming and a heartbreaking listen. A soft triumph.

Our Arthur has his own webpage and Facebook page. Check them out!

All Words by Adrian Bloxham. More writing by Adrian on Louder Than War can be found here. 

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