Rolling Stone - p.1323.5 stars out of 5
-- "Russell's lighter-than-air voice, murmuring about big-city love, recalls Nick Drake, and his filigreed melodies are stingingly gorgeous."
Spin - p.1124 stars out of 5
-- "Love letters, brief smiles, a touch on the arm, friends, and pets abound; throughout, Russell poignantly captures and echoes life's ephemeral delights."
The Wire - p.68
"[With] the gently, gorgeous, concluding 'Love Comes Back,' whose deceptively labyrinthe, exquisite choices of chord change encapsulate all that we know and love about the man."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1044 stars out of 5
-- "[I]t finds Russell's intoxicating smoke-and-molasses voice helming songs that channel Jackson Browne, Jonathan Richman and Dylan."
Record Collector (magazine) - pp.92-935 stars out of 5
-- "Like his career in microcosm, there are a variety of styles here -- the bucolic strum of 'Close My Eyes' and 'Goodbye Paint,' the soulful horn-driven 'Nobody Wants A Lonely Heart' and the WORLD OF ECHO-like 'Eli,' a paean for an unloved pet..."
Personnel: Arthur Russell (vocals, guitar, cello, keyboards, drum programming); Steven Hall , Steven Hall (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, background vocals); Rob Shepperson (vocals, drums); Joyce Bowden (vocals); Jonathan Paley (guitar, drums, tambourine); Darrius Thabit, Randy Gunn, Kent Goshorn, John Scharman, Jason Klagstad, John Scherman, Jason Klagstad, Jon Sholle, Larry Saltzman (guitar); Cecil Milligan (tamboura); Johnie Bartel, David LaFlamme, David Stone, Sid Page (violin); Michael Adams (flute); Huzur Nawaz, Jon Gibson (clarinet); Peter Laurence Gordon (tenor saxophone); Peter Zummo, Garrett List (trombone); Jerry Harrison (organ); Ernie Brooks, Bob Maize, STEVE WARREN (bass instrument); Dr. Rick Jaeger, David Van Tieghem, Jesse Chamberlain, Andy Paley (drums); Mustafa Khaliq Ahmed (congas, percussion); Mustafa Ahmed (conga drum, percussion); John Bergamo (tabla).
Liner Note Author: Tom "Sisu" Lee.
Recording information: Blank Tapes, New York, NY (05/02/1974-??/??/1990); CBS 52nd St. Studio, New York, NY (05/02/1974-??/??/1990); DV Studios, Milwaukee, WI (05/02/1974-??/??/1990); East 12th Street, New York, NY (05/02/1974-??/??/1990); The Kitchen, New York, NY (05/02/1974-??/??/1990); Wally Heider Recording, San Francisco, CA (05/02/1974-??/??/1990).
A gifted cellist, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, Arthur Russell was a ubiquitous if often underappreciated player on New York's avant-garde and dance music scenes throughout the '70s and '80s. Russell was an inveterate perfectionist who was notoriously reluctant to release his recorded work, and new facets of his musical legacy continue to come to light as more of his previously unreleased material surfaces.
Audika Records were responsible for 2006's incredible FIRST THOUGHT BEST THOUGHT collection, which featured many of Russell's more ambitious classical compositions, and they've followed it up with LOVE IS OVERTAKING ME, a group of previously unreleased recordings that showcase an entirely different side of Russell's musical personality. The record features a series of simple but sharply written pop tunes that veer from heartfelt, country-inflected laments to ambitious proto-New Wave. Though stylistically diverse, all of these recordings exhibit the unerring melodic brilliance, beguiling sincerity, and fierce inventiveness that have made Russell an underground icon.