Joseph ArthurMay 11, 1999
Singer-Songwriter℗ 2000 Real World Records Ltd
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Vacancy is an EP by Joseph Arthur released on May 11, 1999. Released by the independent label Undercover out of Portland, Oregon, Vacancy is a hand packaged, limited edition that was assembled one at a time by two people at Undercover. Each one was pressed and die-cut, then assembled and folded by hand. Vacancy was limited to 10,000 copies worldwide—5,000 to the US and 5,000 to Europe, the UK and France. The EP's sleeve design was nominated in 1999 for a Grammy Award for Best Recording Package. Joan Osborne plays acoustic guitar on "Crying on Sunday."
The song "Bed of Nails" appears in the film "The Bone Collector" starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.

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Hang Around Here3:27
Bed of Nails3:42
Making Mistakes5:28
Crying on Sunday4:38
Toxic Angel7:13

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May 1, 2015
℗ 2000 Real World Records Ltd
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Ed Harcourt's accomplished fifth album Beautiful Lie is easily one of his most accessible and listenable efforts. Yes, the hallmarks of his tortured singer/songwriter status are still in place, as flagrant strings, grandiose arrangements, and rampant-but-quality peer-mimicry rule these 14 tracks. But even though his lyrics are sometimes overbearingly dark and too many vampire metaphors abound, the music and songwriting compare favorably to contemporary indie-centric, raspy-voiced artists like Beck, the Eels, Sparklehorse, and Tom Waits. Harcourt dabbles in many genres here, from acoustic folk to '70s style pop ballads to rootsy psychedelia to experimental lounge, all the while rooting the music's emotion in melodic piano. When he rocks out full-force on "Revolution in My Heart" and the carnival-esque "Scatterbrain," the fuzzy dynamics recall the Walkmen at their best. Those two tracks bookend the Mark Linkous-like "Until Tomorrow Then" which marries blues-styled singing with grainy, haunted samples suggestive of a gramophone. Harcourt's mastery of so many styles and his multi-instrumentalist talents might be what's made him a niche artist up to Beautiful Lie's release. With so much going on stylistically, it can be hard to grasp his albums as cohesive entities. It's a shame, but because of Harcourt's eclecticism, it's hard to pin him down as having a distinct sound. He's almost too talented. But Beautiful Lie is an invigorating and frequently gorgeous affair, essential for old fans and a good place to start for newcomers.
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