From Pop Matters Music- July 12 2001
By Jeremy Hart
Seduction. That's what Arthur Yoria's self-titled debut is all about; at least, that's my bet, after listening to the songs and pondering over the discarded-bathrobe/panties-on-the-bathroom-floor sleeve photos. Okay, well, maybe it's not all about seduction, per se, but the CD is definitely about relationships of the destructive kind, and Yoria isn't making it much of a secret. Starting right at the beginning with "Of the Lovely", he charges in with a bitterly angry resolution not to fall for the person who just hurt him, and then turns the tables with "Just Like You", trying to mend things after a fight.
"Strange Grin" peers inside the mind of a "Platonic friend" who's plotting to be more, gaining the object of his affection's trust by being a sensitive listener -- it's not an uncommon ploy, admittedly, but it's made a bit sinister here when the narrator mentions the "leverage" his position gives him. "Several Mistakes in a Row" takes a different angle, this time wanting to "repeat history" with an ex, just for a night, but the tone is the same.
Actually, throughout this four-song EP, Yoria brings to mind fellow popster David Garza, and it's mostly because of that tone, the one that that quavering, delicate, multitracked voice evokes (although there's also a similar penchant for little electronic touches in his songs, to boot). Maybe it's an easy comparison, but it's one that sprang to mind the first time I put the disc in the CD player, and it's stuck with me. Being compared to David Garza's not a bad thing, mind you (for my money, his last album was just about brilliant), and it's certainly not the end of the story. There's a bit of Elvis Costello here and there, especially in the sardonic lyrics of "Strange Grin", a little Michael Penn in the delivery, and even some My Bloody Valentine-inspired effects-heavy guitar, the big, swirling mass that slams in at the start of "Of the Lovely".
Overall, this is one very impressive EP; I'm very curious to see what Yoria's got up his sleeve after this (he'd already released stuff over the last six years or so with local Houston heroes The Jeepneys and Lavendula before heading out under his own name). What can I say? I'm a sucker for intelligent, lovestruck lyrics, beautiful rock-out guitars and gorgeous pop melodies, and this CD definitely fits the bill.
From The Houston Press- July 12 2001
By Sande Chen
Just nominated for Best New Act in the Houston Press Music Awards, Arthur Yoria has generated quite a buzz around town with his frequent gigs. Yoria's self-produced, self-titled EP on his own label, K Oso Records, available at Cactus, is his first release under his own name. He's not a complete unknown, though. Yoria played in the local band the Jeepneys and in a solo bilingual project known as Lavendula.
The resulting EP is a shimmering accomplishment and, to be sure, a good thing despite its lack of publicity. Yoria's songs have been played on college radio, but they would fit comfortably on a mainstream alternative station, on a set with Semisonic and Third Eye Blind.
The lyrics can be exceedingly cruel, but the catchy music masks this bitter streak. Yoria may croon, "Don't be fooled if I appear amused" on "Just Like You," but the music is too contagious not to sing along. Like "Strange Grin," "Just Like You" is emotive, slower, but with driving hooks.
"Several Mistakes in a Row," a surefire winner, showcases Yoria's expressive vocals. His voice is soothing and pleading. It's a great song for sad days when there's nothing to do but brood on past deeds. The best song, by far, is the first. Instantly likable with ready-made choruses, "Of the Lonely" has that intangible hit quality. A pop song to the max, it exemplifies Yoria's songcraft. In fact, Yoria was voted Houston's Best Singer/Songwriter in the 1998 Public News readers' poll.
The prolific Yoria continues to write songs and no doubt will perform new gems at upcoming shows.
From David J Music.com- June 30
2001 By David J
Houston's Arthur Yoria has guts. He begins his self-titled four-song EP with the lines, "Insufficient indication of a coefficient/Most of it unsound." It would take superhuman melodic strength to overcome such an unwieldy mouthful. The song in question, "Of the Lovely," alternates between jazzy intimacy and power chords worthy of the Pixies, ably proving that Yoria is up to the challenge. The sparkling hooks easily overtake the song's initial lyrical awkwardness.
The three remaining songs achieve a similar melodic refinement and musical fluidity. Not just a darn good songwriter, Yoria is a skilled arranger who lends an air of rare sophistication to the proceedings without sacrificing rock muscle or pop accessibility. "Just Like You" and "Strange Grin" delve into the complexities of personal relationships. The first wryly compares a relationship to a shared hellish insanity, while the second portrays one of the parties as an unrepentant puppet master.
The EP's landmark is "Several Mistakes in a Row," an insightful and wickedly funny take on the reincarnation of a dead relationship: "Kill your good sense quickly/Let's leave and then go repeat history." I know the feeling, and Yoria expresses it with knowing ease. Clearly, he is a talented singer-songwriter with an intelligent and grown-up message to convey.
Clocking in at just under 15 minutes, Arthur Yoria leaves me begging for more. The evidence here suggests that Mr. Yoria will not disappoint.
From Splended Magazine- July 23 2001
By Amy Leach
Arthur Yoria / Self-Titled / K Oso (CD)
Often I find myself really wanting to like a band or an artist, either because they seem like such good people or because they want to play music so badly. Sadly, as much as I want to like them, the music doesn't always hold up -- and what it comes down to, after all, is the music. Strangely enough, this disc had the exact opposite effect on me. After reading Arthur Yoria's press release, which speaks of his "pretty boy looks" and his ability to "seduce" audiences, and after viewing his album artwork, with his aren't-I-sexy gaze on the cover, I wasn't exactly expecting the best. In fact, I wanted to not like him. Then I played the disc, and was reminded once again that it's about the music. And the music is lovely. Pretty boy or not, Yoria has a knack for writing beautiful, melancholy songs a la Jeff Buckley, charged with a bit of Matthew Sweet-styled pop, creating a most satisfying listening experience. The only musical flaw I found (and believe me, I was looking) was Yoria's tendency to sound a bit too much like Buckley, most obviously on the fourth and final track, "Several Mistakes In A Row". -- al
Reviewer: A music fan from Houston, TX United States
Arthur yoria has the most beautiful voice, October 10, 2001
This is a great CD to just relax to. It isnt too heavy, but it serves a purpose. I do enjoy how soothing arthur's voice is. I agree with th past reviewer whom i cannot recall the name of, but he said that there should have been more songs. I would have like to give this a 4.5 stars but since there is no middle ground on these ratings, i thought that this must be just a tweaking type album to see how the peoole liked it. Arthur yoria and his band are a local only type ordeal so it is naturally not going to have a full length album the first time around. But these 4 songs are captivating none the less, if you do live in houson, see one of their live shows, they do an awesome job.
By Wendy Wilson
Listen to this CD a couple of times before you form your opinion, it's very catchy and wants to be explored. I saw Arthur perform at a music festival recently and I was immediately and utterly captivated by the emotion, range and stage presence this man has. Arthur and his band are an impressive, tight package. I hope a sharp producer somewhere catches a listen soon. Music that deserves to be shared and experienced. Lyrically, compare to the Beatles at their most mature (maybe a little darker and more modern). My first listen brought comparisons to Ours (which of course implies Jeff Buckley) and Radiohead with a quirky bit of 80's melodic optimisim. The timing seems right for this particular sound and Arthur Yoria is a fresh and welcome addition to such a collection of talent.
Beautiful Music from unique Texas Artists!, September 7, 2001
Reviewer: clockwatchers from Houston, TX USA
I met Arthur Yoria at a local show in May, 2001. He was an unassuming, friendly guy who invited me to see his band play at Cactus Records the following day. My friends said I'd like his music and that he was really getting a good buzz around town so I decided to spend my next afternoon CD shopping and listening to the band. When I saw them play for the first time I can't say I was immediately hooked. I actually thought they sounded a bit like Semisonic, not my favorite brand of rock. I think it was the settings on the distortion Arthur used that day. Still, Arthur was very friendly as was his entire band. I decided to give them a chance to grow on me. In subsequent shows they really have done just that! They have become my favorite Houston band. What sets them apart from the crowd? The unique aspects of Arthur Yoria are Arthur's voice, his direct lyrics, and a Steel Guitar player who uses effects pedals. The nuances on this too short e.p. are beautiful, thoughtful, and extremely catchy. You can listen to the tracks so I don't really have to compare them to any other bands, but their self comparisons to Jeff Buckley are pretty accurate. I assure you they are made tongue in cheek. Why 4 stars instead of 5? I wish they'd have recorded at least one more song; my favorite song of theirs isn't even on it. I eagerly await their next offering! I hope it's a full legnth LP.
From CD SHAKEDOWN.com
Randy Krbechek © 2001
Arthur Yoria (K Oso Records) - As a general rule, I don't review EPs. However, Arthur Yoria of Houston has a polished sound on this four-track eponymous album.
A native of Chicago, Arthur moved to Houston in the late 80's, and eventually enrolled at the University of Houston. Yoria was voted Houston's best singer/songwriter in a 1998 reader's poll.
The songs on the album have a smoothly-polished sound, with a subtly techno feel. Think Britpop, with singer/songwriter influences. Adds Mr. Yoria, "I'm attempting to walk the lines between accessibility, creativity, and uniqueness. I love well-crafted, catchy and poignant melodies, and I think that every song that I record and promote should be unique and captivating."
Try the textured pop of "Several Mistakes in a Row" and you'll hear that Arthur has an ability to wrap meaning in a well-textured sound.