Arthur’s Landing: Arthur’s Landing

Arthur’s Landing: Arthur’s Landing
Arthur Russell was a well-respected New York singer/songwriter. His main instrument was his cello and with it, he created experimental pop, modern classical, and avant-garde disco. Russell continued creating critically acclaimed music up until his death in 1992 from AIDS. A group of musicians who played with Russell formed a tribute project of sorts under the name, Arthur’s Landing. On the group’s self-titled debut album, they cull the Russell catalog to re-work some of Russell’s best-known works.
As with any tribute project, it is hard not to compare Arthur’s Landing’s work with Arthur Russell’s originals. The easiest track to do this with is perhaps Arthur Russell’s most famous track “This Is How We Walk On The Moon.” Russell’s original track is sparsely populated features just cello, vocals, and bongos for most of the track. From the get-go, the listener can tell that Arthur’s Landing’s version is not the original. The track starts off with a jazz drum beat and an electric bassline then the vocals kick in. Arthur Russell’s distinct vocals are the major influence behind Antony and the Johnsons‘ vocal stylings. Instead of aping that vocal style, Arthur’s Landing uses a female vocalist and an ambient vocal effect which gives the track a downtempo feel. The track also utilizes horns and keyboards to fill out the sound. The result is an interesting take on Russell’s classic.
That is mainly what the album is filled with, interesting takes. While listening to the album, I had a hard time imagining non-Arthur Russell fans enjoying the album. The album goes through a myriad of genres from downtempo to jazz to even alt-country. The genre switches alone takes away from the album’s continuity; the only thing that held it together for me was my knowledge of Russell’s originals but for non-fans it might be too eclectic.
Rating: 7.5/10
MP3: Arthur’s Landing “This Is How We Walk On The Moon”
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