JOSEPH ARTHUR Redemption's Son (Universal) Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Peter Gabriel protege Joseph Arthur follows in his mentor's footsteps with this album of lush, grungy folk-rock tunes that sample a variety of genres. This follow-up to 2001's Come To Where I'm From came out in Britain last year but has just dropped in Canada, and it's lovely. Producer Tchad Blake beefs up Arthur's David Gray-ish techno-folk nuggets by heaping them in layers of Mellotron, multi-tracked vocals and guitars. Arthur's a fine songwriter, although his reliance on repeated motifs grows tiresome after a while. So do his trite lyrics, which often come off as a sea of choruses with no verse in sight. The biggest problem here, though, is that at 16 tracks Redemption's Son is far too long. If the dude could just focus, he'd write some standout tunes.