DIARY - 16 AUGUST 2005 - JOSH ARNOLD CD REVIEW
FIRE IN THE SUN (ABC).
Arnold burst on the scene at the start of the new millennia he cut a duet
with Lee Kernaghan on tired John Denver staple Thank God I'm A Country
Boy to sate radio's familiarity fuehrers.
But the best music on a debut he co-produced with Rod McCormack were edgy
tales from his Darling Downs rural roots.
Now, for radio dam busting, he handed studio reigns to multi-instrumentalist
Michael Flanders for his third album in just four years.
fourth generation son of the soil from the Brigalow way out west of
Toowoomba widened his target audience to the lucrative urban jungle.
Hotshot Texan guitarist Charlie Sexton was hired for the single Ripple
On The Tide and One Night The Storm - a driving tune akin
to the peaks of Jefferson Airplane.
It's no surprise when you explore psychedelic country there's esoteric
imagery akin to "the serpent sun is passing into the sorbent
Arnold entrees with the sensual splendour of Soft Light and
quasi-religious fervour of soul searching Courage.
slide guitar and mandolin gives an anthemic feel to Haze - a tune also
bathed in pedal steel and dobro
The use of climatic imagery in Ripple On The Tide, Fire In The Sun,
Losing Sunshine and One Night The Storm - may be merely subliminal.
Losing Sunshine is a poignant parable about loss of innocence of progeny
sprung in a techno trap where fate is programmed long before pubescence.
Arnold challenges faith, fears and prejudices in Miracle and Garden
Of Life but social comment vignette Mama Tina stamps it as
His provocative narrative about an Irish saint working gutters and ghettoes
of Ho Chi Minh City takes on more relevance with the geriatric challenged
But there is optimism rooted in the rural metaphor of Flower Wild In
Seed that may be sweet salve for the singer, not yet on the flip side
For Arnold it's an artistic gamble that works on 12 originals unleashing
his voice as no mere weapon of mass distraction in an ocean of organ,
guitars and keyboards.
Arnold launches his CD tomorrow at the Cornish Arms in the killing fields
of former farmland in Brunswick.
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