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Arthur, Ben: Edible Darling

It'd be easy to dismiss Ben Arthur as some kind of '90s retread, a guy fed on table scraps from the likes of Matthew Sweet and the Jayhawks––he does owe a debt to both, especially the latter––but about two seconds into the opening track "Mary Ann," you suddenly get lost in the authenticity of Arthur's voice, the authority which he brings to his songs and the freshness of his observations. On "Tonight," a contemplative piece that recalls both the Jayhawks and World Party, a man on the verge of death pleads for one more night on earth as though he's a child pleading with his parents for another half-hour of television on a school night. It's not only poignant, it's also beautiful and the first thing that distinguishes Arthur from his irony-laden peers.

Elsewhere he captures perfectly the essence of dusk in "End Of The Day," a powerful pop piece that deserves oodles of radio play, the same that "Keep Me Around," which bridges Harry Nilsson and Lyle Lovett then wraps it all in a shell reminiscent of Badly Drawn Boy, does. But the closing number "Jesus On My Knees," a desperate plea if ever there was one, a track that calls to mind Ian Moore in his darkest hours, closes the deal. Its arrival signifies that Arthur has taken us from the top to the bottom of the album and not given us one bum track.
Watch this guy. He's going to do something.

Track Listing:
1. Mary Ann (2:44)
2. Tonight (3:36)
3. Broken-Hearted Smile (4:41)
4. End Of The Day (4:25)
5. Mercy (3:15)
6. Instrumental #3 (3:08)
7. Keep Me Around (2:53)
8. Edible Darling (3:25)
9. Bloomed (4:50)
10. Sight Of Your Eyes (2:50)
11. Wake (2:28)
12. Jesus On My Knees (3:28) Total Time: 41:07

Added: April 4th 2004
Reviewer: Jedd Beaudoin
Related Link: Official Site
Hits: 2571
Language: english

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