There’s few things that can be said about John Gold while still doing him justice, but plenty to say about his latest album, Arthur Unknown. A true to his word folk singer, Gold waited to put out the best music he possibly could; traveling, writing, getting inspired and finally settling in to record the absolute finest thing he’s put out so far. If not for being just a great charismatic and entertaining album by itself, the stories told through songs in this release detail the amount of personality that goes into his work.
Before you even get to the hour of music ahead of you when the disc starts spinning, the album introduces you to the real people which it has on principle attempted to inspire, talking about everyone’s favorite existential crisis: mortality!
One defining attribute that’s almost a buzzkill in the record is the lack of coherence in the lyrics. Despite only being able to really understand every other line, John’s voice is incredibly nice to listen to. While any self-respecting fan would go to hell and back to at least get a lyric book from him (which he would likely mail to you with a smiley face and a personal compliment scribbled on the envelope), it’s still nice to sit and listen to the music and sounds; the foundation of Gold’s artistry.
With so much great music—all written, composed and recorded by John Gold alone—it’s hard to put a pin on the best ones. “My Best Friend,” “Fourth Tier Morality” and “Edgar Allen Poe” are three of the more electric tracks, however, with the latter two earning their own music videos. Staccato bursts of humor, feeling and excitement overall make Arthur Unknown an album to stick with a long time, and given his track record of spacing his records out for years, you may just have to before another announcement rolls through the door.