This is one of those albums where the material and the production compliment each other so well it's hard to believe that anyone could dream it up, much less actually get it on tape. Here you get dark songs matched by dark production. Even the peppiest tune, "Chemical", is about Prozac or some such mood-altering medication. Arthur has littered his tunes with poignant turns-of-phrase, creating songs that will sneak up on you and pull you along for the ride. The arrangements feature midrange- thick pawnshop guitars backed by concrete-echo drums, all stuck together with a paste of buzz and rattle. Production credits go to T Bone Burnett and Rick Will, with drumming by Carla Azar and a few songs mixed by Tchad Blake. (

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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