Singer/songwriter on the verge of a nervous breakthrough
OK, the 2007 Ryan Adams Overprolific Songwriter Contest is on—and Joseph Arthur is off to a strong start. Less than seven months since Nuclear Daydream, Arthur plans two releases. Sixteen tunes take shape as Let's Just Be, a chaotic mix of gorgeous T. Rex acoustic reveries ("Gimme Some Company," "I Will Carry It"), cheeky Stones-inflected rockers ("Diamond Ring") and studio-jam goofiness (20 minutes—20 minutes!—of "Lonely Astronaut"). Placing "Lonely Astronaut" in the dead middle of the album won't do much for your patience, but it illustrates Arthur's current looseness. The man's a double album in action.