Indie singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur is promoting his music in a less traditional way than previous attempts but also in a less modern way than Radiohead has done. The Akron, Ohio native is deluging the music world with four EPs in anticipation of his next full-length album Temporary People (previously titled All You Need Is Nothing) which will be released September 16, 2008 instead of the originally announced August 5 date.
Crazy Rain is the second EP to be released. It features more of the stylings and rhythms that fans are used to from previous albums of the seemingly ancient musician, while still maintaining the low-key aura from Could We Survive — the first of the four EPs.
The opening track "Killer's Knife" gives the EP a steady jolt, depicting tragedy from many viewpoints while featuring a gritty omniscient attitude: "On the way to mercy / Followed by the dead / On the way to mercy / In the leper's head."
"Nothin 2 Hide" (featuring Greg Dulli of Afghan Whigs/Twilight Singers/Gutter Twins) follows, continuing that earlier tenacity but through stylized down tempo beats. Not to be beaten by himself, Arthur follows with the glam rocking "I Wanna Get You Alone," which carries on the bad boy-demeanor — this time with an erotic edge.
Almost as quickly as he ascended to leather and chains territory did he descend or rather abruptly switched gears back to the Could We Survive province with "Radio Euphoria," whose title could be mistaken for an R.E.M. track and whose sound could be mistaken for a Pete Yorn song. All is not lost, however, with Arthur channeling Trent Reznor in the pseudo-industrial "I Come Down" and utilizing electronica synth in "Nobody Make It Home."
I mentioned before that it would be interesting to heard a more complete hybridization of the two Arthur sounds and Crazy Rain seems to be the closest effort. Even the more mellow tracks explored the kind of imagery reserved for childhood nightmares, teen slasher movies, or the occasional glimpses into the true human condition; so in reality Rain is more of a contrast to Survive than one might think. The final two EPs are going to be interesting listens.