Peter Murphy ‘Ninth’ – Review

title="Peter

Peter Murphy
“Ninth” Nettwerk Music
Available now...

My own knowledge of Peter Murphy stretches right back to the seminal days of Bauhaus; I first heard, and bought the Small Wonder released ”˜Bela Lugosi's Dead' (1979) on the John Peel show and was instantly attracted; I essentially remained a Bauhaus fan up until the release of the woeful ”˜Ziggy Stardust' cover, and to pledge allegiance was to declare oneself a goth, which would never do!

Bauhaus subsequently shattered into many factions ”“ Love And Rockets, Tones On Tail, plus David J and Daniel Ash solo releases. In addition enigmatic front man Murphy also went solo, the first fruits of which being 1989's “Love Hysteria” ”“ an excellent album that clearly demonstrated Murphy's desire to move towards more experimental and ethereal soundscapes. However, my ability to follow both Murphy's and his ex-cohorts journey was hampered by the sheer volume of releases, to the point my finances could no longer keep up.

Since that date Murphy has been an infrequent visitor to the UK, and seems comfortable with the mantle ”˜the godfather of goth' ”“ the goth tag in itself repelling me to the extent that the vast majority of his outpourings have passed me by. As such I was delighted to reacquaint myself with said ”˜godfather' when he played at the Rebellion Festival in the summer of 2010. The set was obviously designed to appeal to a festival crowd and was peppered with Bauhaus originals, and more upbeat material pulled from his own back catalogue ”“ the result being that I was keen to reassess Peter Murphy. “Ninth” provides that opportunity.

This is Murphy's ninth solo album; hence the apt title, and according to the sleeve notes the recording was funded by a staunch Murphy supporter, and completed in just seven days of intense activity.
I was surprised, I was mistakenly expecting more indulgent notation coupled with poetic verse ”“ what you actually get is an album full of swagger; opening track ”˜Velocity Bird' rides a huge distorted guitar riff with a kick-ass accompanying beat; that said Murphy's distinct vocalisation threatens to spoil the track ”“ he seems to be struggling to project his voice, he is literally being drowned out by the sheer volume of his backing band.
”˜Seesaw Sway' is perhaps Murphy realising the limits of his range, he seems happy to return to his more familiar vocal limits on this darkly simmering track that is lifted by a particularly catchy dual guitar hook with decent backing vocals that give Murphy's voice the necessary support and result in arguably the strongest and certainly most instant track on the album.
”˜Peace To Each' veers dangerously close to metal or even glam for my own liking. Has Murphy been observing the other alleged ”˜godfather of goth' Nick Cave in his current Grinderman guise, and tried to strip away the smoke and mirrors to create a return to source release? If so, unlike Cave he has not quite hit the mark.
”˜I Spit Roses' has already been lifted from the album for a (at least in the USA) single release ”“ it's a more sombre affair, with some clever keyboard work.

“Ninth” is a confident release, though it has moments of sheer over indulgence; ”˜Secret Silk Society' being a case in point, a semi droning number that features every one of Murphy's trademark flamboyant vocal traits, he croons, he talks, the odd vocal inflections they are all on display, before we are led to the album finale ”˜Crème De La Crème' a haunting piano driven piece with accompanying string arrangements, that Murphy threatens to overshadow with his overstretched crooning.

Were “Ninth” is most effective is upon the more basic rock numbers - ”˜Memory Go' and ”˜The Prince & Old Lady Shade' the later being carried by an ascending guitar riff with a subtle accompanying melody. ”˜Uneven & Brittle' is a huge song that no doubt lends itself to the live performance, an area were Murphy excels ”“ don't forget he has in the recent past been happy to perform whilst being lowered upside down supported by chains; you just can't shake ”˜goth' from some people!

This a strong release, a return to form even - it would have been easy for Murphy to rehash his outtakes from the past, and he deserves credit for still trying to push the boundaries albeit remaining within the wider ”˜goth' genre.

11 thoughts on “Peter Murphy ‘Ninth’ – Review

  1. Neil

    What’s with the goth-anathema ? Who cares the label ?

  2. Mike Kolberg

    Apart from that completely nonsensense passage "that said Murphy\’s distinct vocalisation threatens to spoil the track – he seems to be struggling to project his voice, he is literally being drowned out by the sheer volume of his backing band.
    \’Seesaw Sway\’ is perhaps Murphy realising the limits of his range"
    agood review!

  3. Matthew Losure

    What the hell album were you listening to?! At no point ever does Mr. Murphy struggle to do anything. I’m not sure if you listened to the whole thing. Do me a favor and go to the 2:50 mark in ‘Uneven and Brittle’, wait for the scream and then with a straight face tell me he is “struggling” to project. Maybe you skipped ahead before that part. Maybe you were on your period. I don’t know. But dear God, man, take a midol and give this record another listen.

  4. Quran (4:104) – “And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…”

  5. Can I simply say what a relief to find a person that genuinely understands what they’re discussing on the net. You definitely know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people need to check this out and understand this side of the story. I was surprised you aren’t more popular because you most certainly have the gift.

  6. Only wanna comment on few general things, The website design is perfect, the subject matter is really excellent : D.

  7. Wow! This can be one particular of the most useful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Fantastic. I am also a specialist in this topic therefore I can understand your effort.

  8. Pingback: http://wideinfo.org/jelly-bean-adoption-grows-as-gingerbread-falls-below-50-percent/

  9. wonderful put up, very informative. I ponder why the other experts of this sector do not notice this. You should continue your writing. I’m sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  10. I got what you mean , regards for putting up.Woh I am glad to find this website through google. “It is a very hard undertaking to seek to please everybody.” by Publilius Syrus.

  11. google

    Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

Have your say...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *