Despite making the label jump from Realworld to Vector, Arthur hasn't given up trying to play heir apparent to Peter Gabriel's throne. It's not a bad ambition, but it isn't all it could be. Our Shadow Will Remain has a moody and cerebral tone, but all that intense brooding is distilled through the thinning filter of pop, so don't expect deep revelations. Like Gabriel, Arthur's transcendence is forever qualified by the imperative of making music with mainstream chart appeal, which means he constantly falls short of the creative heights he has the potential to reach. Who knows? With less self-consciousness, a finer-tuned cliché detector and a few more years, Arthur might get there.
Joseph Arthur opens for REM at the Hummingbird Centre Wednesday (November 10).