REVIEW : Arthur Buck - QRO


Back in the days of R.E.M., one of their own favorite artists was Joseph Arthur, such as singer Michael Stipe covering his “In the Sun” for a Katrina benefit and showing up at his art gallery show.

Post-R.E.M., guitarist Peter Buck has been very busy, from his Todos Santos Music Festival on the tip of Baja California to solo work and The Baseball Project with other musicians. So it’s no real surprise that Arthur and Buck have teamed up, as ‘Arthur Buck,’ with a self-titled record that does lean more Arthur than Buck, but still holds up.

With Arthur singing, Arthur Buck tips towards his styles, including more electronic effects like the indie-shuffle open “I Am the Moment” and the fuzzed dance about today’s America, “American Century”. It also has, yes, political moments, such as the somewhat obvious lyrics to “Century”, but also the brighter look to next Election Day in “Wide Awake In November”. If Arthur can be a little overt, these are overt times. And it doesn’t dominate the album, which also has a strong, smooth push in “Are You Electrified?” to the resigned goodbye “Before Your Love Is Gone”.

Team-ups of already famous musicians can be a risky proposal, potentially too many cooks in the kitchen, and feeling like a side-project that’ll be forgotten when they get back to their day jobs. But Arthur Buck comes across as fully formed work from two fully formed artists.

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