Joseph Arthur & the Lonely Astronauts
Let’s Just Be
The good news about Joseph Arthur’s latest is he’s eased up on the sensitive, vulnerable schtick and rocks out like never before. The bad news is it required either drugs or psychosis to do it, because parts of Let’s Just Be exhibit self-indulgence on a scale not heard from an established artist since Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music 30 years ago. So, be amused by Arthur bursting from his shell but keep the skip button handy. The strident chorus on “Precious One” shows a little swagger never hurt anybody but the nadir of this album is the last 15 minutes of “Lonely Astronaut”—tolerable only to masochists and the deaf.