Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Music - Part 236 - Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy – Lion (Nettwerk Music)
Out Now

Bauhaus frontman release his latest album. 

Make no mistake, Peter Murphy is a legend.  His work with Bauhaus, worshipped by fans, underrated by everyone else, was pivotal in the ‘Goth’ scene and to a great degree continues to be. 

With Lion, his tenth album, the inevitable mention of Bowie will be commonplace.  Sounding more like the Thin White Duke than Bowie does himself, Murphy’s voice echoes Aladdin Sane and Heroes with his own distinctive style.  There’s no mistake of the fact, and some quarters may sigh at the mention but it’s true.

Produced by Youth, Lion really does roar. The unmistakable sound of the producer is perfect for Murphy.  Screaming guitar and spiralling synthesizers, crashing drums and gargantuan vocals, this is possibly one of Peter’s finest albums.   

At the age of 56, Murphy’s voice is incredible.  Far better and stronger than any of his contempories, he growls and grumbles through eleven marvellous tracks, often improvising with a feeling that pours from his insides.  As lead with Bauhaus, the group that practically invented Goth-Punk, his voice was distinctive to say the least on classics like Stigmata Martyr and In The Flat Field (both included on ten track bonus disc of the groups live versions), and has already outstripped fellow vocalists hands down.

Album opener, and lead single Hang Up is the perfect start, it builds slows from a monotone synth beginning to a pulsating thunderhouse of a track with throbbing bass to boot.  This is Murphy at his best, and Youth is the perfect partner. 

Middle Eastern elements are prevalent on the album, I Am My Own Name in case in point as Murphy bawls and barks as his voice echoes in a quite superb fusion.  Eliza is haunting and powerful at the same time, and displays that it’s not all broodiness as the track is catchy, melodious and almost rock-pop.

Lion is a fine album, and had Murphy not told us that it was a rushed affair then we would have believed that it took all of the three years since last album Ninth to write and record.  If he can make an album this good in a hurry then it surely confirms his status as a British musical treasure.

The voice that sold a ga-zillion blank cassettes (Google it kids) roars again.

Published on Louder Than War 17/06/14 - here

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