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The Graduation Ceremony

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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$12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Produced by: John Alagia & Joseph Arthur

Recorded by: Sheldon Gomberg at Carriage House LA and John Alagia at Village Recording

Mixed by: John Alagia at Village Recording

Mastered by: Scott Hull at Masterdisk

Joseph Arthur: Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keys, Drums
Jim Keltner: Drums
John Alagia: Guitar, Bass, Keys
Jessy Greene: Violin
Jessy Greene, John Alagia and Joseph Arthur: String Arrangements
Sibyl Buck, Brian Cohen, Madi Diaz, Liz Phair: Backing Vocals


Joseph Arthur Announces The Graduation Ceremony (May 24th / Lonely Astronaut), His First Solo Album Since 2006's Nuclear Daydream Joseph Arthur's music has been described as 'a dynamic swirl of noise that somehow appears magically around him' (NPR), 'emotional (but tuneful) exorcisms (Entertainment Weekly), and 'lush, poetic, squalling, spiritual, and strange. Just like life' (Boston Globe). Vanity Fair has hailed him as 'one of our most emotionally revealing and talented singer-songwriters.' Michael Stipe once told the Los Angeles Times that 'Jo is one of those rare writer-performers where you get the sense, whatever you believe, that something greater is being channeled through his music and voice...It touches something very deep and universal.' 'There s nothing to do in the Midwest but dream,' sings Joseph on The Graduation Ceremony (May 24th / Lonely Astronaut), his first solo album since Nuclear Daydream(2006) and follow up to Fistful of Mercy, his 2010 collaboration with Ben Harper and Dhani Harrison. Produced by John Alagia and featuring legendary session drummer Jim Keltner (John Lennon, Bob Dylan), this sparkling new collection of songs is orchestrated with Arthur's signature noise-scapes and a full string section; an elegantly haunting album anchored by classic songwriting. Joseph Arthur will be touring the US throughout 2011 and the Gershwin Hotel in New York City will be exhibiting his paintings for the month of June.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 24, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: May 24, 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: LONELY ASTRONAUT
  • ASIN: B004V9J9B2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,230 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am a long-time fan of Joseph Arthur, and he is one of my favorite artists. My expectations for any album of his are quite high, but this album has even blown those lofty expectations away. Quite simply, this is his best album to date, and one of the best collective albums I have ever heard. Those familiar with his work will recognize the atmospheric tones, hauntingly beautiful lyrics, and unique approach to crafting songs, all of which permeate through this entire record perfectly. The album is amazing. Each song is fantastic. There are no throw-away tracks here. In addition, the songs seem to fit together quite well. Standout tracks for me include "Midwest", "Gypsy Faded", "Call", and "Into The Sun". Do yourself a favor and buy this record. Those new to Joseph Arthur will find this as a great introduction to his music. Those familiar with his music will find this to be an essential component to their collection. Ten or twenty years from now, people will still be talking about how incredible this record is. There are very few albums I give 5 stars to, but this is certainly one of them.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
It's unfortunate that such a immensely talented artist goes unrecognized by so many. I think this is hands down the best album I've heard for the year (i listen to a lot of music). I won't write much more, if you are reading this you are probably already a Joseph Arthur fan. Just let me say, this is his best work yet.
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Format: Audio CD
Graduation Ceremony is a great introduction to Joseph Arthur. I bought copies for friends and family who had never heard of him. The melodies are beautiful; the lyrics are great as always. As a Joseph Arthur fan, I would agree that it is less daring than some of his other work, but that isn't the point. This record is about loss and healing. Even though it deals with a failed romance, it works as a metaphor for loss itself--the music has some hauntingly beautiful sounds that make the listener almost ache in some impenetrable stupor.

As someone who was born and raised in the midwest, I understand all too well that "there's nothing to do in the Midwest but dream."
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Format: Audio CD
It's been quite a while since Joseph Arthur put out Nuclear Daydream. In between he released two albums with his band The Lonely Astronauts and four EPs. The work with the band was a let down. There were a few songs that are worthy of praise but I feel like none of them measured up to what we've come to expect from him. The EPs on the other hand were great and covered a lot of ground musically speaking.

This album is mostly acoustic and it's his most concise in years. The whole album is extremely solid and there are moments that are downright incredible (Watch Our Shadows Run, Over the Sun and Midwest come to mind).

This is by far one of his best albums and one of the best of 2011 to be sure.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've followed Joseph Arthur since I first heard "Honey and the Moon" from Redemption's Son while watching American Wedding. I immediately went out and purchased the album and have been a solid fan ever since. Graduation Ceremony isn't foreign to listeners familiar with his work. It doesn't reach out and demand your attention or stand out in his engaging catalog of songs. Instead, it plays like a slow progression, never really getting up off the ground, but being content where it is. "Midwest" is a highlight and probably the most promising for playback while the rest are simply attached to it. There are definitely some good songs here. Worth investing your time towards. Not quite as daring as Nuclear Daydream (Dig) or Come to Where I'm From, but we're glad he's still out there releasing material. There's no "In the Sun" or "Honey and the Moon" or "Dear Lord" songs on here, but as a whole, it's an album that sits well together.
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Format: MP3 Music
I too am a huge fan of Joseph Arthur and I would agree that this collection of songs is probably his best yet. The whole album flows beautifully along with his ability to write and create such incredible music. Joseph Arthur is one of my favorite artists because something about his music warms my heart and soul. I give this album 10 stars!
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
A thoroughly great album from start to finish. Has a sound somewhat reminiscent of "Redemption's Son", a bit lighter in fact.
I only prefer getting albums on vinyl if every track can be listened to many times over, and each track contributes to the feel of a true "album" (rather than a collection of songs). Graduation Ceremony is worth that kind of attention, and is certainly one of my favorite albums by Joseph Arthur.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first discovered Joseph Arthur on Big Blue Ball a few years ago. Since then I have purchased all of his back catalog except the EPs (my loss). This guy has it. He IS it. His music is at once textured, lyrical, honest--and friggin' beautiful. This collection is his best yet, and after Nuclear Daydream, that's some praise. I suspect he's entering his peak period, which is only relevant in a discussion of artists, not pop stars. If like me you like to lose yourself in aural artistry, you cannot do better than turning up the volume on this one, closing your eyes, and thanking the fates you could afford the purchase price. Lest you dismiss this as just so much hyperbole from a smitten fan, listen to "Over the Sun" and tell me I'm wrong. The backing vocal alone, whoever that girl is, says it all. I'm 57 years old and I've been buying music for a long time. Trust me--Joseph Arthur is the real deal and this CD proves it.
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