(281)

by Arthur Yoria

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about

Whoa. What the hell? I knew quirky/cool singer-songwriter guy Arthur Yoria was mixing things up a bit on his latest release, (281), but honestly, when lead-in track "No Messin' With My Rectum If You Like My Erection" hit the chorus (and yes, that is the song title, not to mention most of the chorus lyrics), I nearly drove into the concrete barricade on the side of the freeway. It's just such a ridiculously, over-the-top, um, explicitly frank come-on/caveat of a song that I still have a little trouble believing that I'm hearing what I'm hearing.
The truly weird part, though, is that in spite of the huge level of uncomfortableness, well...it ain't bad. Throughout (281), in fact, Yoria manages to veer wildly away from a lot of what he's been known for in the past, diving headlong into weirdness and half-assed experimentation, all while keeping things insanely catchy. See "He Can, She Can, We Can," which features a deep, screwed-down vocal that sounds like it stepped off a Gorillaz album (it's a little busy for the Swishahouse crowd, I'm thinking) over a funky, rumbling track; it's utterly bizarre and totally unlike Yoria's past work, but it really, truly works, all on its own.
And that's Yoria's genius, really: he's such a supremely talented songwriter that songs that really, really shouldn't work (and probably wouldn't work, in the hands of somebody else) actually come off as clever and strange. Like, say, the dark, murky, New Romantic-esque electronicism of "You Should See Me," or the weirdly bluesy "The Libyans" (which, as near as I can tell, has zero to do with Libya), where Yoria declares he doesn't care what anybody thinks but just wants to "play [his] golden fiddle." Then there's "Drunk Piss," which is an instrumental that sounds remarkably like, well, a late-night stumble down to a dingy bathroom to take a piss.
Things get a bit more down-to-earth two-thirds of the way through the disc, with the resigned, gorgeously layered "Tell Me I'm Wrong" grounded in more familiar melancholy power-pop territory and the swooning "Blue" more dreampop-y and sweet than anything else. The latter of which incorporates a little snippet of what sounds like a totally separate song in Spanish, tacking it on at the end. "Something In My Stomach" is a little goofier, with its spoken vocals and stop-start rhythm, but it works amazingly effectively at conveying the self-doubt and confusion that sets in when somebody really gets under your skin for the first time.
It's funny, but (281) almost seems like a B-sides collection or something, partly because it's so far removed from his older stuff and partly because of the general slapdash feel of it (the album was originally only available at shows, but now it's available online in MP3 form, too). Of course, it could also be because this time out Yoria attempted to crowdsource his songwriting somewhat, throwing early mixes out to fans for critique and comment.
Or, most likely of all, Yoria's just decided he's tired of being That Suave/Sensitive Pop-Rock Guy and wants to throw the rulebook out the window. Hats off to him for doing it; it doesn't work for everybody, no, but against the odds, it works for him.
jeremy hart - space city rock (Dec 6, 2009)

credits

released May 1, 2009

all songs by Arthur Yoria

recorded, performed and mixed by Arthur Yoria
mastered by Allen Corneau

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all rights reserved

about

Arthur Yoria Houston, Texas

Arthur has had songs placed on the TV shows: The OC, Felicity, Camp Jim, Laguna Beach and the major films, National Lampoon's Adam and Eve and Breaking Dawn. His songs have also been used in commercials: Domino's Pizza, Arizona Jeans, Cheapbooks.com and Zig Zag. ... more

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Track Name: No Messin' With My Rectum If You Like My Erection
you're not smart/that's a start
you smell clean/lets get obscene

don't got a disease and i don't got shaky knees
i don't like lot's of noise but i'm not opposed to toys
and no messin' with my rectum if you like my erection
i should mention that i give more than receive

healthy legs/real nice breasts
i know your ex/he says you like sex

don't got a disease and i don't got shaky knees
i don't like lot's of noise but i'm not opposed to toys
and no messin' with my rectum if you like my erection
i should mention that i give more than receive

slow and easy but let's stay busy
set the pace/i'll follow you
it's not a race/there's time for two

don't got a disease and i don't got shaky knees
i don't like lot's of noise but i'm not opposed to toys
and no messin' with my rectum if you like my erection
i should mention that i give more than receive
Track Name: He Can, She Can, We Can
Fake a wink at the camera
Lip shits all over the mic
Take your medicine and don't forget to call in sick

I know, I know, I know what you want

Get down, look up
There is a phony
He sing a song that isn't holy
Make ends meet down in the valley
He can, she can, we can

I get down around the sound that brought me to you
i know i can't but i'm trying to please you
so the sound goes round and round and round

I know, I know, I know what you want

Get down, look up
There is a phony
He sing a song that isn't holy
Make ends meet down in the valley
He can, she can, we can
Track Name: I Don't Wear Red
Daddy isn't funny and i don't wear red/money never really been a friend.
And sunny isn't something that i'd call myself but i ain't never going to leave a mess on your wall

Mommy gets afraid when there is no stress but the medicine won't let me get depressed.
And i'm afraid of having too much confidence when i'm choking on the meaning of success and no stress

if you knew how many times i have flown into your room just above your bed, maybe you would like me more or less/
i just don't want you lookin in my head

now brother is embarrassed by all of us so the more we try, the more he moves away.
but what if he's right and i'm ridiculous? would the old vacation pictures look the same?

if you knew how many times i have flown into your room just above your bed, maybe you would like me more or less/
i just don't want you lookin in my head

Daddy isn't funny and i don't wear red/money never really been a friend.
And sunny isn't something that i'd call myself but i ain't never going to leave a mess on your wall

if you knew how many times i have flown into your room just above your bed, maybe you would like me more or less/
i just don't want you lookin in my head
Track Name: You Should See Me
Gonna measure my currency
Gonna make friends with he whole damn scene
Gonna cut my dreams in half
I want to make you laugh

Gonna stop trying to do the math
I want to make you laugh

You should see me when i play with cats
You should see me in a bubble bath
You should see me when it's comfortable
You should see me when you're miserable

Gonna fake my own last breath
I want to make you laugh

You should see me with my other lover
You should see me when we soak the covers
You should see me with your fucking father
You should see me when i hit it farther
You should see me 'cause you haven't got a clue
You should see me 'cause i can do what you do
Track Name: The Libyans
Alligator
Cut creator
My libido
Where do we go?

Alawishes
You can do it
Juice and pitches
Nothing to it

I don’t want to go in too deep
I just want to swing my rhythm stick
I don’t want to know what you think
I just want to play my golden fiddle

In my room
On the ceiling
Bedside table
Sex and healing

What you got to give except your prerogative?
Gimme fictional
More educational

I don’t want to go in too deep
I just want to swing my rhythm stick
I don’t want to know what you think
I just want to play my golden fiddle

Alligator
My libido
Where do we go?
Track Name: Tell Me I'm Wrong
lovers swoon to just one tune
lovers fade/first one then two
skin must break before it bleeds
lover fakes then bleeds on me

all the coins and souvenirs
and all the cracks that they conceal
california or these pills
nothing comes near

tell me i'm wrong
tell me i'm wrong
tell me i'm the only one you ever really wanted
aww come on

now i'm at peace with being a soldier
but if lover leaves/i guess it's over

tell me i'm wrong
tell me i'm wrong
tell me i'm the only one you ever really wanted
Track Name: Blue
Blue
But I'm feeling fine
Like a rainbow tryin'
to make you look

Blue
How about you?
'Cause I'm feeling strong
and my heart is good

A mi me dicen que no se gosar

Levante la mano si a usted si le gusta culiar
Levante la mano si a usted si le gusta tomar
Levante la mano si a usted si le gusta fumar
Levante la mano si a usted si le gusta viajar
Levante la mano si a usted si le gusta los deportes
Levante la mano si a usted si le gusta los animalitos
Levante la mano si a usted si le gusta los pasteles
Levante la mano si a usted si le gusta leer revistas
Levante la mano si a usted si le gusta hacer absolutamente nada
Track Name: Something In My Stomach
feel weird
can't sleep
something in my stomach
ain't dizzy
ain't sweaty
something in my stomach
oh shit, i'm falling in love again

i keep imagining us on an island
i usually don't think about islands
but when i think about this island, i feel something in my stomach
oh shit, i'm falling in love again

all alone i just use the facts
i meet you, everything's so abstract
(sabes que? yo amo a los animales pero si usted no guarda ese perro desovediente, le voy a dar una patada)

oh shit, i'm falling in love again
Track Name: I'm The Cold One
i wasn't listening
but i was lip reading
i take a sedative
so i can make her think that i'm the cold one

hey hey
has something changed?
i don't feel the same

i need to get through
so you better move
i take a sedative
so i can make you think that i'm the cold one.

hey hey
has something changed?
i don't feel the same
don't say
what you're gonna say
i can read your brain

i take a medicine
to ease the suffering
i take a sedative
so i can make you think that i'm the cold one